There is something inherently satisfying about pressure washing. Watching dirt vanish before your eyes, excavating a crisp clean surface it once encrusted… Is there any better feeling than that?
Despite that, I suspect you won’t find many people pressure washing for fun.
It’s a chore, both literally and figuratively. Yet somehow, if you design a game around a chore, slap the word ‘simulator’ on the box and release it into the wild, you can make millions in sales.
Such is the story of FuturLab (opens in a new tab)‘s PowerWash Simulator.
But is it worth playing? Find out a professional’s opinion!
Disclaimer: The following review is fully independent and biased only by our love of pressure washing. We bought the game ourselves, with our own money, and we are in no way affiliated nor did we receive any payments from FuturLab, Square Enix, Valve, or any other party involved in the production and distribution of PowerWash Simulator.
PowerWash Simulator is a Proper Game
Simulator games carry a warranted stigma. Most of them are crap, many are broken, and some are outright unplayable cash grabs.
Despite that, PowerWash Simulator is none of the above. The game is well designed, has great graphics, gameplay, is almost free of bugs and offers a co-op multiplayer. Most importantly, it is very entertaining and very addictive.
PowerWash Simulator places you into the town of Muckingham. For reasons that escape me, nobody in this town ever cleans anything and thus, it is up to you, the owner of a small business dubbed “PowerWash”, to set things straight.
Equipped with a pressure washer and your signature blue van, you rush out to help the citizens of Muckingham with their filthy properties, including cars, bikes, houses, helicopters, a carousel, a Mars rover… The list is almost endless.
Without spoiling all the fun, here are a few examples of places and vehicles you’ll have to make sparkling clean:
PowerWash Simulator is Not a One-Dimensional Game
PowerWash Simulator features multiple game modes which tailor the experience to the kind of player you are.
- The Career Mode offers you a full experience of starting a pressure-washing business from scratch. The game places you into your own garage next to your dirty van, with a mediocre pressure washer in your hand. It is up to you to land jobs by building your reputation, which spreads among the citizens of Muckingham as you complete pressure washing tasks. The money you make lets you upgrade your pressure washer, buy new nozzles, detergents, and cosmetic accessories.
- The Challenge Mode lets you work on your efficiency. Reserved for the hardcore players only. Challenge mode sets a time limit on each job, forcing you to utilize distance, nozzles, and strokes to the maximum.
- The Free Play Mode lets you revisit any completed job and enjoy your power washing experience one more time.
- The Specials are a collection of the quirkiest jobs in the game. Fancy pressure washing a Mars rover on the surface of Mars? PowerWash Simulator has you covered.
With the exception of the challenge mode, you can enjoy the remaining three modes with your friends. The co-op multiplayer feature lets your buddy join you in the career mode, or up to six buddies in the Free Play Mode and the Specials.
The Gameplay of PowerWash Simulator Is Spot On
Each job in PowerWash simulator has a straightforward goal – Clean the damn thing.
Whether it is a building or a vehicle, your task is the same. As with a real pressure washer, you must utilize different nozzles, stroke speed and distance to cover as much area as possible efficiently, or vice versa, spot clean tough leftover stains.
You will encounter a rich variety of stains on many different surfaces, all of which resist the power of your pressure washer quite differently.
PowerWash Simulator features many level changes, which require you to use extensions, ladders, and scaffolding. At other times, you will be forced to crouch down and get close to your target.
I am not exaggerating when I tell you that when you are jumping across the roof to get to a leftover piece of bird poop on a chimney which your extra-long extension can’t reach, PowerWash Simulator feels almost as a platformer!
Is PowerWasher Simulator a Good Simulator?
Despite my praise, there is one issue I do have with PowerWash Simulator. It is not exactly the most accurate simulator as far as Newtonian physics are concerned. Although the cleaning efficiency of different angles and nozzles is simulated outstandingly, the physics of dirt do not translate to the physics of other objects.
Let me explain:
In PowerWash Simulator, you can use a 0° nozzle on a wooden surface from a few-inch distance without any real consequences. It will work simply fine. In the real world, the water stream generated by this setup and at this distance could chop off your finger. You get the idea…
Similarly, most objects do not experience the impact of the water stream. The privilege of realistic physics is reserved only for soccer balls and oddly enough, garden gnomes.
Yet, we can see how balancing cleaning efficiency with destruction of property could ruin the experience for some of the casual players, so we understand the design choice. Nevertheless, these shortcomings must be pointed out.
Would I recommend PowerWash Simulator? A hundred percent! The game is simple, fun, and outright addictive. If you cannot enjoy it, there must be something seriously wrong with you.
PowerWash Simulator has something for everybody – young and old, casuals and hardcore gamers. The production quality is also outstanding. The game runs well, it has great graphics, and its gameplay is unhindered by glitches and bugs. The only shortcoming of this game is the inability to damage anything – which frankly sounds psychotic. Therefore, I would imagine most players won’t be bothered by it..
- Superb pressure washing experience
- A rich variety of surfaces and dirt
- Countless hours of gameplay
- Good level design, of which there are many
- A very reasonable price
- Physics does not apply to most objects
- High-pressure water stream does not damage surfaces
- Gets addicting
- Can be rather hard to find residual stains to 100% level
Have you played PowerWash Simulator? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!