PowerWash Simulator does precisely what it says on the tin. You take control of a power washing sensei of sorts, fully armed with an arsenal of attachments, nozzles and cleaning products. With these tools, you tackle objects and places with near-apocalyptic levels of filth, restoring them to their former glory. Welcome to PowerWash Simulator! Read on for our PowerWash Simulator review.
PowerWash Simulator contains several modes for you to enjoy. The one that you are most likely to play on is Career Mode. It smoothly guides you through the basics of how to operate the power washer. There is also a co-op mode available if you wish to play with friends and/or strangers alike. Your first job is to clean a filthy van and it is here that you are shown the nozzles, methods of using the power washer and how to navigate the environment. There are plenty of different levels to work through, each one seemingly filthier than the last. The menus are clear and concise, the controls feel smooth, fluid and intuitive and the action of using the power washer feels natural.
PowerWash Simulator scratches that hard-to-reach OCD itch
There is something about blasting away the filth that is simply sublime. If the angle doesn’t feel right, then go ahead and rotate that nozzle 90 degrees! Is the nozzle not powerful enough? Then go for a narrower one! Is that some rust or grease that just won’t go no matter what you try? Then try using the single jet nozzle and blast it into oblivion! Add in some cleaning fluids, new nozzles or a new power washer altogether and you have yourself a great power washing solution!
Loadouts are a thing in PowerWash Simulator
The level of cleaning freedom in PowerWash Simulator is immense due to how many options are available to you. A great example of this is the fact that it contains actual loadouts, like in First-Person Shooter (FPS) games! This enables you, the trusty power washing sensei, to set your preferred combinations of power washer, extension, nozzle and cleaning liquid, ready for quick-action cleaning in all scenarios!
Good, clean fun
There are several levels to complete, each of which is unique and interesting. At the time of writing, there are 42 levels in total. These consist of 38 regular levels and four bonus levels. They range from washing a filthy van to cleaning a whole playground to even cleaning Lara Croft’s mansion of Tomb Raider fame! Interestingly, this game doesn’t succumb to tedium as each level is different enough to remain interesting and presents its own distinctive challenges.
This truly is a feel-good game
Everything about PowerWash Simulator makes you feel good. There are no penalties, no time pressure and no urgency. You are free to clean however and whenever you see fit. On the flip side, there is also no real story as such, which could lead to monotony but rarely does. This is because the levels are so intricate that they are essentially puzzles in themselves. They force you to spend time thinking about how best to approach and solve them. You do receive notifications from contacts regarding new jobs but you are still free to navigate the environment, blast it to oblivion and enjoy the entire experience at your own pace.
With each complete job, comes money. You use that money to purchase more equipment from the unexpectedly large catalogue of items available in the game store. You then use that equipment to complete jobs quicker and more efficiently, in order to earn more money before repeating the cycle again.
Are cleaning liquids really worth it?
I purchased and used both the wood and metal soaps whilst cleaning a playground and I found that it made no difference. I checked the effect with and without soap (via the dirt highlighting tool) and the level of cleanliness appeared to be equal. In fact, the soaps ran out very quickly and water alone seemed to actually do a better job on each respective surface. However, I then paid close attention to the environment and realized that I had made a mistake. I discovered that the purpose of material-specific soaps is not to remove general dirt, but instead to tackle specific types of dirt on specific surfaces.
For example, metal soap is used to remove rust from metal surfaces and wood soap is used to remove gunk from wooden surfaces, usually after the surface filth has been blasted away. Using water alone would require much more effort and careful positioning to get it all off. As such, use your cleaning fluids wisely as they deplete very quickly, but they also make for really quick work of hard-to-remove dirt. Once you establish this harmony between when, where and how to use your cleaning fluids, you are literally ready to tackle any type of dirt or stain!
Reaching the dizzying heights of power-washing glory
No area is out of reach thanks to the array of items that are available to you. At first, you are provided with a small step and an extendable ladder. For larger, taller levels, you have access to actual scaffolding platforms that allow you to reach the highest parts of the tallest buildings and environments. However, despite having these helpful tools and structures at your disposal, there are still some areas of dirt that require you to really think about how best to reach them. This is because they are tucked away very well and require more than a simple aim-and-spray approach.
At the time of writing, there are some free DLCs available. The most interesting one is Lara Croft’s mansion, of Tomb Raider fame! Apparently keeping Lara’s mansion clean got a little too much for her so she has called you in to help! She was probably away raiding a tomb or two somewhere.
The first few moments of every level feel amazing. You blast every surface, watching the dirt melt away beneath that beautiful spray of water. On the larger levels, it quickly dawns on you that it probably wasn’t a good idea to have randomly sprayed dozens of tiny areas with no plan in place. A methodical approach is almost always best as it allows you to focus on and complete smaller portions of the map before moving on to the next one. Towards the end of almost every round, however, the overall job progress is marked as being 99% complete. At this point, you will almost certainly begin to frantically scour the environment for that elusive one percent. There is a highlighting tool available which illuminates dirt in bright orange, but even that appears to be hiding from you.
You could just leave the job at 99%, but that would make you nothing more than a monster. Also, if you were that kind of person then you wouldn’t play PowerWash Simulator in the first place. We power wash warriors need to find that missing one per cent and it will bug us to our very core if we leave the job at a mere 99% complete. However, the feeling of satisfaction that washes over you (pun fully intended) when you detect it and blast it into oblivion is truly immense. There is an aim mode, which allows you to move just the power washer freely within the viewing frame, but I never needed to use this. It feels much more natural for the image in front of me to pan around as I move the sticks/mouse rather than just the power washer.
To stand, squat or lie down – that is the question!
There is plenty of freedom of movement available in PowerWash Simulator, which allows you to reach dirt in the trickiest of places. One of the best examples of this is the three levels of verticality which you can adopt. You can stand upright, squat, or lie down fully prone. Combine these three positions with any of the steps, ladders or scaffolding and you can reach dirt no matter where it is hiding!
PowerWash Simulator is a game that you will turn to when that urge to clean something rears its ugly head. When you play PowerWash Simulator for the first time, you quickly become immersed. The waves of satisfaction coursing through your body ensure that you will probably return to it several more times. The content also appears to be updated regularly, meaning that new challenges often become available. This only serves to make the game even more desirable and once more lure you back to blasting the filth away!
PowerWash Simulator also comes with the option to exit the game without needing to save first. This is great because it would be devastating to have cleaned a large area, only to forget to save and lose all that hard work. Despite it never being explicitly addressed, your work is always saved automatically. Auto-saving your progress is a really helpful feature and a nice touch by the developers because everybody is going to want to save their progress in this game.
Graphics and Sound
Despite the grime-infested levels, PowerWash Simulator is a true pleasure to look at. It contains detail-rich, vibrant environments which are bursting with color. (Even more so when clean!) The water looks and acts like real water. It sprays off of surfaces at all angles as you blast them clean. It also runs off of flat, smooth surfaces and even soaks into surfaces at different rates depending on their absorbency. If you spray wood, the wood goes dark and then light as the water soaks in before disappearing as it dries like in real life. If you spray a metal surface, it immediately becomes vibrant again, with the water running off immediately. It is this attention to detail that makes for a highly believable simulation.
From the blast of the water jet from your power washer to the satisfying “DING!” after you successfully clean an area or object, PowerWash Simulator just sounds good! There is no background music (despite an option in the settings to adjust the music volume) but it isn’t missed, either. The game seems to function perfectly well without anything but the in-game sounds, such as birds chirping, dogs barking and the breeze in the background, all of which add to the element of realism.
This wildly therapeutic game allows you to dip in and out of it at will, helping to make you feel calm in the process. There is no real story to follow, but this is a good thing because the nature of the game lends itself perfectly to the same single-objective levels throughout, which is “clean”. There are times when power washing can become tedious, typically on the larger levels, and you will have to complete them in numerous attempts. This can be easily remedied, however, by selecting a smaller job to complete if you only have a few minutes to play. Overall, this delightful game will leave you feeling happy and satisfied and probably wanting to return for more!
- Watching dirt melt away is extremely satisfying, almost therapeutic
- Beautiful environments
- Everything sounds perfect
- The dirt highlighter tool is super helpful
- Huge variety of levels to choose from
- Can become repetitive on larger levels
- Finding that elusive 1% of dirt is infuriating
PowerWash Simulator is currently available through Boosteroid, GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming. This review was made by Mus from PapaBear Gaming. You can check out his channel right here. You can follow him on Twitter by going here. That was it for our PowerWash Simulator review.