PowerWash Simulator | game review
Game summary: Wash away your worries with the soothing sounds of high-pressure water. Fire up your power washer and blast away every speck of dirt and grime you can find. (Xbox.com)
I had heard a lot of good things about PowerWash Simulator before I tried it, mainly to do with it being a pretty chill and relaxed game that you could take your time with - a 'podcast game' as I like to call it, where the gameplay isn't too taxing and I can listen to music or - shock horror - a podcast while playing. I use Euro Truck Simulator 2 and the general missions in Marvel's Midnight Suns the same way, so was hoping to add this game to the list.
Disappointingly, while it does remain enjoyably relaxing for quite a while, there's still not as much variety to what you're doing as there is in those other titles. It's really not helped by the 'difficulty' increasing through the dirt taking longer to clear by needing to use a higher pressure spray (which affects a much smaller area than the other settings) or the busywork of using a cleaning agent to help.
Making the same thing just take longer just isn't that appealing to me, although if you really have a lot of time to kill, then you might not mind as much. I think if the water with which you're blasting the various things you're cleaning actually behaved like water - like starting cleaning high up allowing some of it to run down and at least part-clean an object, which doesn't happen here - I might've stuck with it for longer.
As it is, the water stream in PowerWash Simulator acts more like a magic dirt eraser than water, which is generally fine for the most part but can be a little irritating when you have to find a way to get above something you need to clean the top of because you can't just spray above it and let the water run down to clean it, as the ladders only have certain locations where they can be placed, so you have to manage with what the game gives you.
I don't want to sound too negative though as I did spend hours and hours working my way through at least a dozen levels before the feeling of repetition kicked in, so there's definitely a lot more value for money here than in the average movie ticket. Just maybe spread out how often you play it a little - again, if you have time to kill and no insane backlog of other games like me - and this could be just perfect for you to unwind with.
As for the technical side of things, they just about do the job although it can sometimes be surprising when something is considered cleaned with plenty of visible dirt remaining, while others don't when you have to practically start pixel-hunting to find the last speck of grime the game wants you to get rid of. Just make sure to use the menu to highlight what still needs cleaning when you're almost finished to avoid getting frustrated.
PowerWash Simulator was enjoyable enough to play for quite some time, but the lack of any real variety to what you're doing and a number of frustrating design issues meant it's not something I could stick with for any longer than I already managed and I can't see myself ever going back to it. That said, if you do want something completely urgency-free and have time to spare, then this might be just what you're looking for.