Even without the PowerWash simulator, I knew about high-pressure cleaning from various time-lapse videos in which sidewalks, driveways and entire gardens are cleaned of unpleasant dirt that has accumulated there for months. In small lanes, the dirt is literally repelled by a highly focused stream of water or steam until the asphalt and bricks glow again in the most beautiful O (color) shade. Anyone who browses YouTube occasionally may be familiar with the triggering effects of this cinema before and after.
But does it also work as a game? In other words: what is it like to spend hours alone drawing a jet over dirty vehicles, terraces, ladders and other objects to free them of black goo? Well… there are two very different answers to that. Because if you believe the comments on Steam, many people find high-pressure cleaning on computers and consoles incredibly relaxing.
You have to give FuturLab (they developed this daily sim) one thing: although technically the whole thing doesn’t tear up any trees, it’s still handsome enough not to wrinkle your nose. Above all, however, cleaning works surprisingly well – in other words, this feel-good effect when washing away dirt. It also has to do with the fact that you know exactly what it might look like if you pulled the wrong nozzle in the right place too quickly. Then particularly stubborn crusts would remain, and you would have to change the cap to use an even smaller but stronger jet. But if everything lights up again immediately, that’s something.
Sometimes it can be quite practical to first wash off superficial dirt with a fine wide jet. As you earn money on completed orders, you also buy, for example, extensions for high scaffoldings, as well as cleaning agents for particularly fast dirt removal. Later, devices also appeared that generate even more pressure and thus enable particularly demanding removal of dirt. It just doesn’t make any noticeable difference. After all, you always pull the water over the dirt until the entire surface is cleaned.
And here’s where my answer comes in: I hardly like it for longer than one of the YouTube videos. Purely jokingly, there is nothing else here. Anyone who has ever drawn brushes of different widths on an area in any drawing program can imagine the dimensions of the interactive challenge fairly accurately, anyway. You remove the black tint from relatively rough 3D objects – that’s it.
At this point, I’m missing a bit of plausible physics as you don’t really push the dirt away, but just let it disappear under the cursor. For example, you don’t need to carefully clean steps from top to bottom to avoid splashing dirt on steps that have already been cleaned. Since the pressure is not calculated, no grooves are sprayed or straightened on the turf, and this deprives the fascination of actually cleaning something.
I don’t want to deny that I was fascinated by PowerWash to some extent. If you can almost smell wet stone or wood, or even thought you could smell damp air, this game does something right. You can also stop orders at any time to continue at exactly the same time later. There are special quests where you can clean up an entire minigolf course, a Martian rover, and you can spray your entire career with a buddy, as well as up to six in free play. Only that this game of all things lacks any music seems strange, especially due to the uniform work.
PowerWash simulator – test completion
So if you just need to paint or paint different objects like Microsoft Paint, take a look. On a small scale, the PowerWash portrays high pressure cleaning quite convincingly – but that’s exactly why it’s too thin for me to satisfy more than the initial spark of curiosity. Since watching the whole thing in time-lapse can be reassuring, guess why there are so few real-time first-person videos. In any case, I either want to challenge in an interesting way or play with the narrative, so I prefer to stick to cool (quasi) simulations like Hardspace: Shipbreaker and wait for YouTube to push something with “Pressure Flush” into the recommendation again.