If you can do something in real life, you can be darn sure you’ll be able to simulate it in a video game. Whether it is sex, violence, work, fishing, or sports, it matters not. This genre is increasingly popular, as it allows gamers to escape reality while becoming something or someone completely different from themselves. PowerWash Simulator is the latest in a long list of work-related games that splashes onto console and PC. Will it be squeaky clean and perfect, or does it need to be thrown out with the dirty water? Let’s put on our overalls and take a look.
Developed by Futurelabs and published by Square Enix, this is a real-to-life simulation title. It can be enjoyed solo or online with up to 5 friends. What’s more, it utilises Cross-Play to make online action that bit easier. Like its peers, it is simple to understand, oddly addictive, and deeply satisfying. Consequently, you’ll lose hours of your life as you clean everything in sight.
PowerWash Simulator has no story!
I’m not sure that it matters, but PowerWash Simulator has no story. Now, I know it would have been clichéd and shallow, but a bit of friendly rivalry with an NPC would have spiced things up nicely. Instead, you are treated to a selection of game modes, upgradeable equipment, and some cosmetic items. I understand that you may think this lacks depth. However, with so many tasks to complete, it doesn’t.
Each location you visit has an array of complex buildings, dirty toys, and all sorts of filthy surfaces. Accordingly, you must select the right tool to remove the dirt in a timely and efficient manner. You’ll pick which nozzle you want, the cleaning spray, lance, and pressure washer you wish to use. As you progress, you’ll earn stars and cash which unlocks improved goods and buys every upgrade. Having the best gear is essential as the jobs become convoluted and the stains more stubborn. Subsequently, terrible equipment makes this game a horrible slog to play.
Which mode will you select?
As already mentioned, there are an array of modes to pick from; career, special, challenge, and free play. You’ll spend much of your time in career mode. Here you’ll earn your money, be awarded stars, and work through an array of tasks. Furthermore, this can be played solo or with another player. The special mode, on the other hand, is crazy! The tasks are literally out of this world (I’m looking at you Mars rover), and time-consuming. As such, you can speed things up by inviting up to 5 friends to join you.
Challenge mode is effectively a time trial. Select any stage, clean it as quickly as possible, and then boast to your friends. They can then try to better your effort. Accordingly, it’s a friendly competition to prove who is the quickest and best pressure washer operative. Finally, PowerWash Simulator has free mode. Here you can visit any stage and clean to your heart’s content.
No story = repetitive action.
Most simulation titles are guilty of being repetitive. Sadly, PowerWash Simulator falls into this trap. With no story to fall back on and increasingly complex stages to clean, it soon becomes repetitive. Think of Groundhog Day, but with a lot more cleaning.
If the developers had introduced timed tasks or damage to goods, it would have made you think. On top of this, it would have increased the difficulty and would have made the jobs much harder. Something else that should have been considered was a limited water supply. No matter how trigger-happy you are, you never run out of H2O. Now, if this was limited, the game would have been exponentially tougher.
PowerWash Simulator looks tidy.
Simulation titles and poor graphics are a market standard. However, PowerWash Simulator bucks that trend. I’m not saying it looks incredible. No, instead it’s well polished, colourful, and pleasant to the eye. Further to this, seeking out the dirt is easy thanks to your magical dirt seeing tool. With the press of a button, you can see how filthy the area is and get to work cleaning it.
If you love the noise of cascading water, then PowerWash Simulator will be music to your ears. For everyone else, though, the constant drone is torturous. Disappointingly, there is little you can do about it as there is no background music to drown it out (pun not intended).
Comfortable and responsive controls.
Occasionally, this genre is a pig to play on a console. Most are ported from PC and they are simply too complex for a controller. Luckily, though, this game isn’t afflicted by these problems. The setup is easy to understand, and the controls are comfortable to master and responsive at all times.
Now, there is no logical reason why you’d want to play a virtual cleaning game. Yet, once you start, you won’t be able to stop. It is so bloody addictive that I’m itching to play it again. As a consequence; it has both replay value and longevity. Alongside this, it is rewarding and oddly satisfying to play.
PowerWash Simulator sparkles and shines.
Though the gameplay is repetitive and has some shortcomings, it is still extremely good. Its action is undeniably addictive, and the stages are interesting and inventive. Moreover, it is great to play with friends and it is free on Game Pass. If the developers introduce some fresh material and complex tasks, it will improve it further still. However, I still loved it and I recommend you to buy it here! Become a cleaning champion and remove the grime and dirt from everything you see.