Dang, it happened again. Another weirdly specific “simulator” game has come into my life and completely dominated my free time. Of course I’m talking about the current front-runner for Game of the Year, PowerWash Simulator, a game that’s irrefutable evidence of the fact that we have jumped the shark when it comes to simulator ideas. But despite how objectively ridiculous it is that this game exists at all, I’m so grateful that it does.
There’s no hidden mechanics here or secrets to uncover (or are there?) in PowerWash Simulator, instead you’re literally just going from building to building and blasting the gunk off of everything that’s been gunk-ified. You earn cash for completing jobs, which you can spend on upgrading your power washer via different models of washer, attachments and cleaning solutions. From there, you load into the map of a structure and methodically blast the dirt and grime off of everything, and then (pardon the wordplay) rinse and repeat until there aren’t anymore jobs available.
Like most of these simulator games, there’s a fair bit of jank involved that really gets annoying when you’re pixel-hunting for the last speck of dirt on a surface. You can hit the TAB key and bring up your “dirt-vision” or whatever they’re calling it, but that doesn’t really help when the dirt is completely out of sight. A lot of grime is underneath things like ledges and windowsills, which can result in these moments where there dirt is lower than your character can physically get. Suddenly you’re trying to do trick shots with your hose to blast water off of surfaces you can’t fully see, and that’s really a momentum killer in PowerWash Simulator, a game I’m using to try and achieve a zen-like state of peace and calm.
I know I talk about these kinds of games fairly regularly, and I do so proudly because I genuinely enjoy some of these games and their representations of seemingly mundane occupations. I don’t know what part of my brain lights up when I start organizing or cleaning things in video games, but that part of my brain must be fairly dominant because I spent maybe six hours straight the other playing this game. PowerWash Simulator is an early access game that provides a soothing experience about blasting dirt into another dimension, and I absolutely adore it.