Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
If you're like me, then you have an annoying tendency to want to clean everything, but hate actually doing it. If only there was something that would make it feel like you're making progress. An interim reward, or maybe… A DING.
Welcome to the world of PowerWash Simulator! A game where you whip out your pressurized water wand and wash away all the dirt and grime in the town of Muckingham! PowerWash Simulator is a weirdly cathartic game where you visibly see your worries getting washed away with the grime. Luckily for you, or unluckily for the residents of Muckingham, the town has a ridiculous penchant for getting absolutely filthy. This means you'll have plenty of things to clean, from vans to planes, houses to circus rides, everything needs a good washing.
PowerWash Simulator is really simple. You've got a pressure washer, you point it at stuff, you spray your water, it gets cleaned off where you're pointing. No need to worry about a water reservoir or cleaning up the water, you just need to worry about spraying away the dirt. When you point your washer at an object, you'll notice a little gauge, as well as a "piece name", in the top corner of the screen. The more dirt you spray away, the more that gauge fills up. Once you've cleaned it off enough, you get a wonderful "ding" sound and the part is clean. Larger objects may be split into multiple smaller parts, such as dividing large walls into segments.
As you clean parts, you'll be earning money. This cash can be used to upgrade your washer! You can buy different nozzles, extensions for the washers, better washers, or even special cleaners to help get rid of those pesky stains. That being said, some parts are pretty pricey, and you don't really earn a whole lot, so think a little bit about what you buy. Thankfully you can replay stages for extra money, if you're so inclined. Pro tip, better washers not only have better range, they also have better cleaning power. Make sure to use the right combination of washer, nozzle, and extension to properly clean your commission!
Each commission you're given follows the same basic principle. You walk onto the site, or into the garage where the vehicle is, and basically only see a large black and brown shape vaguely resembling something fathomable. It is then your job to hose it down until you find the real colour under all the ick. You are given a few extra tools, generally in the form of a step ladder, an extension ladder, or a scaffolding for particularly tall commissions. Sometimes commissions will give you interesting maneuverability, such as a Ferris wheel you can turn on and off, or a temple where you have to stack ladders smartly in order to reach the peak. Most of the time though it will be a pretty standard fare, not that there's anything wrong with that!
Throughout Career mode, you'll be receiving commissions from the residents of Muckingham, along with an interesting plotline in the background involving red velvet cake and the local volcano. Your commissions vary widely, and upon completion of set amounts, you can unlock new things to buy in the store. Also, completing the commissions allows you to play them in Free Play. There are also four additional stages to clean in Special Mode. In Free Play and Special Mode you and up to 5 other people can join in to fight grime in Muckingham. Even in career mode you can have one other friend join you in your dirt destroying mission.
You also will unlock options for Challenge Mode, where you are tasked with cleaning one of your old jobs either within a time limit or while only using a set amount of water. These can be challenging, hence the challenge mode, but with a little planning and effort, I'm sure you can do them!
There's no music in PowerWash Simulator, just the sound of spraying water and the wonderful sound of Dings as you complete your sub objectives. This is kind of great for two reasons. First of all, it feels super relaxing to just sit down with nothing but the sound of spraying water and the telltale signal of you making progress. On the other side, you can set up a podcast or a video in the background or on a second monitor, and have a nice relaxing time cleaning things while listening to something or watching a show. Graphics are pretty good for what they are, as you can clearly make out all the individual components to objects you're cleaning. Pressing TAB allows you a sort of temporary "dirt vision" in order to see what's left to do. And yes, if you're inside a structure to be cleaned and you hit TAB, your whole screen lights up in a blinding orange.
I can honestly say, after having spent a solid 60 hours hosing down houses, cars, circus rides, temples, gnome fountains, and minigolf courses, PowerWash Simulator is a great way to sit back, relax, and take your mind of the stresses of everyday life. It's great to see things get clean, with a visible and auditory benchmark of completion, and it's just so…soothing. Well, until you're cleaning something and can't find that last 1% to have it fully cleaned, but thankfully that's usually solved with a dirt vision, some crouching or jumping, or just spraying back and forth for a bit.
Overall, PowerWash Simulator is an absolutely amazing way to sit back and unwind after a tough day, to just distance yourself from the troubles of the mortal coil. It's oddly addicting, and the sense of accomplishment from cleaning a big job and seeing the difference is really great for your self-satisfaction. The dings also help. PowerWash Simulator may be a bit of a weird niche title, but it definitely has that sense of accomplishment you may not be able to find in real life.
Score: 9 / 10