Video games offer a kind of escapism that has rarely been replicated in other mediums, and this has allowed fantastical worlds and ridiculous premises to come to life in players’ hands. For FuturLab and Square Enix’s Powerwash Simulator, it firmly falls into the latter category as it finally arrives on the PlayStation 5. As the name suggests, there’s plenty of cleaning for you to get into.
With its straightforward nature, Powerwash Simulator is the kind of game that will divide opinions. Those who love it will praise the zen-like satisfaction achieved by cleaning every surface of dirt and its easy-to-understand nature, while those not inclined to spend an extended amount of time seeking out any missed spots will only be frustrated by the experience.
We definitely fall into the first group, buying fully into what the game offers and enjoying all of the minutiae that come with keeping things sparkling clean. The need for a narrative is not exactly pressing here, even if the game doles out nuggets and snippets every once in a while about the town that the game takes place in.
The main meat in Powerwash Simulator comes in the form of Career mode, where as a new power washing service provider, you will need to work your way up from cleaning a dirty van to much more elaborate and comprehensive environments, like a theme park. The basics are easily picked up, with the first level serving as the de facto tutorial, teaching you the ropes when it comes to using your handy power washer.
The nozzle can be adjusted to hit different angles, while pressure can be enhanced with a more concentrated, focused stream, while covering a larger area comes at the price of weaker pressure. Naturally, different situations will call for different applications, with progress neatly tracked on the UI to show you just how well you are doing your job.
Getting rid of dirt in Powerwash Simulator is as challenging as it is in real life, and to consider an area truly clean, there is a need to remove close to 99% of any dirt on the surface. While the larger parts are quite visible to the eye, the game also helpfully provides a dirt highlight function to help players spot the occasional missed spot.
For the console version, the lack of precise control using the mouse is something to consider, especially if you are hoping to hit all the smaller pieces of dirt that linger after a wash. However, using the DualSense’s analogue sticks never felt subpar; just that more control and patience are needed when moving and orientating the view. Playing on what is likely a larger television will also give you a better view of the environments that need a good and thorough wash.
All of that hard work is also brilliantly recognised by Powerwash Simulator with an ending timelapse video. The time spent and the effort put into power washing a virtual space never felt more satisfying, and that is a uniquely gratifying experience that only this game can provide.
If the base levels weren’t enough, the addition of Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII crossover environments also make for a dose of freshness that helps break things up in a good way. Nothing like cleaning up the Seventh Heaven bar to start your day right.
A game that truly knows what it delivers and does so excellently, Powerwash Simulator is perfect for players seeking a simple and relaxing time while engaging in a relatively straightforward affair. While cleaning, in reality, can be annoying, the meditative nature of Powerwash Simulator proves otherwise with a controller in your hands. Although it is certainly not made for everybody, for those willing to don the suit, it can be one hell of an addictive ride trying to erase all existence of dirt for a paycheque.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Cleaning never felt so rewarding, but Powerwash Simulator is not made for everyone, and that is exactly how it should be.
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Story - 6/10
Presentation - 7.5/10
Value - 8/10