Sunday Lawn is the iPhone and iPod Touch adaptation of another successful 2D Flash game from developer Donut Games, in which you must mow a labyrinthine lawn as efficiently as possible while avoiding hazards like hedgehogs and "dog poop."
The simple but winning gameplay of the Flash-based Sunday Lawn has remained intact, but unfortunately, the controls are disappointing. To score well in this game, you need to mow long, contiguous sections of lawn without backtracking (while picking up occasional power-ups and avoiding both stationary and moving obstacles), and that requires quick, precise movements from your mower (a comically stylized little guy named "Charlie," who fits in well with this game's old-school graphics and sound). You get three choices of control schemes--swiping, tilting, or touch-screen buttons--but none of them are nearly as good as the Flash-based game's original controls--the arrow keys on your computer. The swiping and tilting are particularly unresponsive and erratic, which is especially frustrating as the game gets more difficult, and the touch-screen directional buttons are arrayed in a counter-intuitive configuration, with three buttons on each side of the screen. Even the touch-screen controls for this app's otherwise likable "Sweet Dreams" bonus game are spaced together too tightly.
Sunday Lawn is still a fun and relatively unusual game, with a clever mechanic that forces you to trade off between optimizing your mowing pattern and preserving your time bonus, but the iPhone version just pales compared to the original. This app has some decent pick-up-and-play value (especially if you can grab it for free), but this developer definitely has better titles on offer.