PowerWash Simulator is a surprisingly good game considering it’s premise. In our PowerWash Simulator review we will cover all it’s features and explain why it’s so addictive and kept me hooked for over 40 hours! We’ve already taken a brief look at this game in our recent top 5 relaxing games article. While the game has been out in early access for a while we decided to hold off reviewing it until the game released.
Performance and Gameplay
PowerWash Simulator uses the Unity engine and has been optimised extremely well. There are multiple settings, including things like HDR and resolution scaling (not a given these days). Lighting and shadows are pretty decent as is the details to the vehicles and buildings you are cleaning. While it’s not the highest detail graphics the styling and design are there and is very good. The way water is simulated feels really nice, giving a good sense of power. Selecting a wider nozzle offers more coverage at the cost of pressure. Extensions allow you to clean from a larger distance, meaning you aren’t constantly having to move the ladder or scaffolding.
PowerWash Simulator sports soap nozzles and multiple soap types. Choose the correct type of soap and it can cut through the dirt like butter. Fortunately the different soaps are named ‘Stone Cleaner’ or ‘Metal Cleaner’ to make things easier. When completing a section you will hear a bell ding and a brief blue flash of the object cleaned. This is where the dopamine hit comes in, only increasing as you complete multiple parts simultaneously! Pressing Tab will cause the vehicle or location to glow orange where it’s still dirty. Cleaning things from every angle and while crouched/prone or on a ladder is the only way to guarantee completion.
There are four different modes of play in PowerWash Simulator, career, specials, free play and challenges. In career mode you can buy anything depending on your progress and having enough cash. Map-wise there are 20 locations and 12 vehicles to clean in career mode. Money earned will be determined by the map size/complexity and how thorough you are cleaning everything. You have a tablet that gives you a nice list of everything to clean and the breakdown of payments. PowerWash Simulator career mode is limited to 1 – 2 players.
You don’t have to get everything clean to progress but your job rating will suffer if you don’t. Ratings are like levels in PowerWash Simulator, as you get more cumulative stars new equipment unlocks. Each power washer has it’s own stats but it is a linear progression from weakest to strongest. Attachments, skins and nozzles aren’t interchangeable between models unfortunately, soap however is universal. There are also cosmetics like different coloured suits and skins for your washers and it is possible to unlock everything in a single career.
Free play allows you to replay any map you’ve unlocked in career mode with all your career mode equipment. While first sounding a bit redundant there is no way to replay a map you’ve already cleared on career. You can go back to them but there’s literally nothing to do and you get the finish job button instantly. Free play also lets you play career maps with up to 6 players. Challenge mode has a fixed inventory and you are either racing against the clock or water amount. This can get very hectic and is the only mode locked to one person for extra difficulty! This is the only mode in PowerWash simulator that is stressful but it’s a lot of fun once you know the maps.
Special maps are extremely interesting, for instance the first map is cleaning the Mars rover. Like challenge mode you have a fixed inventory but every map is unique. In the case of Mars you can jump higher and fall slower because of the lower gravity. There are only four special maps, two locations and two vehicles and the maps support up to six players. These maps to be honest feel like they would have been part of the campaign but didn’t fit either thematically or narratively.
What?! PowerWash Simulator has a Story?!?!
What starts off as a pretty paint by numbers career mode veers off into something wonderfully silly. As you are cleaning you will have text messages pop up on the side of your screen. Some of these will be hinting towards upcoming jobs, others are comical or just plain odd. If you read through all of them you will start to notice not everything seems quite right. I don’t want to spoil anything but the narrative becomes wilder and less serious as the game progresses. There is also a liberal sprinkling of humour, helping an otherwise bland premise be more than just another simulator game. I didn’t know I needed a story for my PowerWash Simulator career but I’m glad the developers added it.
PowerWash Simulator is a fun, relaxing and satisfying game. Perfect to wind down after a hectic day. The main career will take around 30 - 40 hours, offering many challenges and unique maps. After the career mode is finished there are three other modes to keep you entertained as well as co-op play. While the graphics aren't the highest detail the style, water, lighting and shadows are excellent. A fun and satisfying game for a fair price or as part of Game Pass!
- Satisfying Cleaning Mechanics
- Well Optimised
- Good Sense of Humour
- Easy to Understand Progression
- Decent Co-Op
- Extra Modes
- No Music
- Some Dirt Almost Impossible to See