Immediate Game of the Year contender PowerWash Simulator has hit version 1.0 on PC and launched on Xbox consoles. In shocking news it is releasing directly into Game Pass for console and PC and I’ve just pulled an all-nighter after literally getting this code 13 hours before embargo time and I’m here to tell you, this game’s pretty freakin good. Pick up your hoses, get your nozzles at the ready, and soap up that wall because ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages this is the review you have ALL been waiting for.
A Simple Premise That Just Works
Power washing in real life is fun in short bursts, but limited water and the ever-real danger of causing serious damage make it a chore instead of something Zen. The magic of video games is here to remedy this situation, and thanks to developer FuturLab Limited you now have at either your or up to five of your friend’s disposal an incredibly satisfying journey into the art of outdoor cleaning with high-pressure water. The game has been in early access for a while and it’s surprisingly sparse menu and presentation-wise.
There is no music, which surprised me at first but I quickly appreciated it because I just want to listen to my own or podcasts anyways while playing. The story, as far as I can tell, is you’re a Power Washer and you go to places to make money, that’s it! It’s basic, works well, and is supported by a wide variety of locations, tools, and upgrades to last you quite a while. The main mode is a campaign that can be played solo or with a friend in cross-platform cooperative play. Throughout this campaign, you’ll spend dozens of hours cleaning buildings, playgrounds, vehicles and more. Challenge mode is a single-player leaderboard-focused mode that lets you replay sections you’ve already completed with either timer or water-limit-based rules.
“Special” missions are much larger than normal campaign areas and can support up to six players total. From mini-golf courses to steam trains and even the Mars Rover area available with their own special situations for you and your buddies to take on. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it helps because this is a dumb thing to make a game out of yet it all just works. That happens in large part because of a solid control scheme that translates well to console.
Spray Your Life Away
Be ready to hold down the right trigger for hours and hours. That is your infinite water spray button and it is incredibly satisfying. With a variety of different unlockable sprayers each with their own complement of nozzles, soap dispensers that have different soaps to match each type of material in the game for a faster clean, and an infinite water supply you’ll be able to tackle the grimiest of houses with little to fear. The default turn speed is far too slow and the FOV slider while welcome does tend to fish-eye things quite a bit. Outside of those issues the controls work great.
A is a jump, which goes very high on Mars while clicking in the right stick will alternate you between your three first-person perspectives. First is standing, 2nd is crouch, and third is a prone position. You’ll need them all to take out all the dirt in each level and you can dash by holding in the left stick. The B button lets you choose your soap type, and the Y button is the all-important nozzle selector. From flat and wide to thin and gyrating you’ll use them all depending on the situation. Left bumper is a quick swap for the nozzle as well so that you don’t have to keep using the radial menu all the time.
Graphically the game looks pretty darned nice and it ran great for me on my Series X. Both with a purchase and with Game Pass you get the game on the Windows Store on PC as well with full cross-progression, saves, and buy. I was unable to test it before launch as the page wasn’t ready but if it’s anything like the Steam version (never a certainty) it will run and control well. The water and dirt removal effects look fantastic and it really sells that you are cleaning an area, everything gets wet depending on the surface and it dries quickly so that you know what you have or haven’t cleaned at a glance most of the time. If you can’t tell just what an area you’re working on is missing you can always press right on the d-pad to see exactly where any dirt is with a second of orange glow that fills up the screen early in a level.
There is no music to speak of as said earlier, nor is there any voice acting. Sound effects are minimal which is good because power washers can be really damned loud, and that would not have been fun to listen to by default.
PowerWash Simulator is a very simple, and very good game. Alone or with friends it’s both fun and stupidly satisfying to clean dirt with water. A healthy variety of locations, tools, a solid upgrade path, and even new looks are on hand to make this one well worth checking out.
|Reviewed on||Xbox Series X|
|Available on||Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC|
|Release Date||July 14th, 2022|
|Publisher||Square Enix Ltd.|
|Rated||E for Everyone|