Video Games

‘Powerwash Simulator’: The Most Relaxing Video Game of 2021

What Is Powerwash Simulator?

Powerwash Simulator is… exactly what it sounds like. You’ll start up your own power washing business in the game and clean everything from vans and dirt bikes to houses, gardens, playgrounds, and even the Mars rover.

Age Rating

Powerwash Simulator is rated ESRB E for everyone and PEGI 3, making it an ideal game for the whole family.

Main Menu, Screenshot by Sophie Brown

Available Formats

Powerwash Simulator is currently only available on PC via Steam.

System Specifications

  • OS: Windows 8 (64-bit) or newer
  • Processor: Intel i5-760 (4*2800), AMD Phenom II
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 760, AMD R7-260X
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 6 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

Powerwash Simulator Trailer

Powerwash Simulator Gameplay

Powerwash Simulator is a game in which you… clean things using a pressure washer. It’s really not much more complex than that, and it’s precisely that simplicity that has instantly made it one of the best games I have played this year.

On launching the game for the first time you’ll be presented with the main menu featuring four options: Career Mode, Specials, Challenge Mode, and Free Play. In every one of these modes, you’ll work through jobs cleaning vehicles such as a van, vintage car, and golf cart, or places such as houses and gardens, a skatepark, and a fire station. Each of these jobs is broken down into dozens of individual segments like walls, doors, exhaust pipes, and wing mirrors, and as you complete each segment, you’ll earn money that instantly appears in your balance. This is really helpful as it means you don’t have to wait until you’ve fully completed a very big job to earn from it—you’ll earn as you go along and be able to buy equipment mid-job.

Breakdown of the Playground Job, Screenshot by Sophie Brown

Shopping and Equipment

You’ll begin Powerwash Simulator with a basic pressure washer machine and five nozzles: four of varying degrees and a soap dispenser. You’ll switch between these as you complete your jobs—wider nozzles cover a bigger area at once but lose pressure compared to smaller ones, so you’ll constantly need to find the right balance between washing the biggest area possible at once to maximize speed, but also using a nozzle with the right amount of pressure to fully clean it so you’re not going over the same areas multiple times.

Shopping in Powerwash Simulator, Screenshots by Sophie Brown

Completing jobs earns you money and the ability to buy new pressure washers of increasingly better performance, new nozzles, extensions so you can spend less time moving ladders around, and cleaning liquids. You’ll need to match the right cleaning liquid to the right surface (there are options for glass, metal, stone, etc) and equip your soap dispenser nozzle to use them. The store only has a limited amount of cleaning liquid at any given time and doesn’t restock all that frequently. The cleaning liquids make a huge difference in the time it takes to complete a job, so you’ll want to use them carefully. You’ll also want to think carefully about what equipment to purchase. Is it worth buying an extension or better nozzle for your base pressure washer or saving up for a more powerful base machine? Now, onto the game modes.

Career Mode

Career Mode is the heart of the game and most likely where you’ll want to begin. You’ll start by washing a van in order to set up your new pressure washing business in the town of Muckingham. As you progress, you’ll be contacted by potential customers who have heard about your services and require help. These new jobs will immediately appear in the Career Mode tab and you can switch between any new or in-progress jobs at any time, so if you get bored washing the playground, you can stop for a bit and go clean something else. Some jobs are very big and intricate, taking a lot of time to complete. It’s sometimes nice to switch over to a quick vehicle job like a motorbike if one is available to get that instant job done satisfaction and earn a little extra cash for supplies—more on that later.

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Cleaning the Fire Station, Screenshot by Sophie Brown

There are technically stories in Career Mode, but these are entirely superfluous and you could ignore them entirely without affecting gameplay. Still, it does add an extra interest factor as the new owners of the house you’re cleaning pop up with occasional messages about the movie star who once lived there (and whose ghost might still be haunting the place). There is often a darker element to these backstories. Take the adorable Forest Cottage you’ll find yourself cleaning that is home to “two humble confectioners”—a brother and sister who live out in the woods and have absolutely no connection to witches despite their unusual surname…

As you progress through Career Mode you’ll receive more and more jobs with increasing difficulty and also get access to more basic equipment to help you reach all those tricky areas. You’ll start with just a step but soon find yourself scaling ladders and even scaffolding (thankfully, you can’t take fall damage in Powerwash Simulator) to clean hard-to-reach spots. While the jobs do increase in difficulty, this is more to do with the trickiness of reaching certain areas and less about the actual skill level required to play going up. The game itself remains easy and relaxing to play throughout, and that’s what I love about it.

Cleaning the Mars Rover, Screenshot by Sophie Brown

Free Play, Challenge Mode, and Specials

Once you have completed jobs in Career Mode, they’ll become available in Free Play. Free Play simply allows you to replay any previous job as often as you like with infinite cleaning liquids and access to all the equipment you’ve purchased so far. It takes an already chilled-out game and gives you even less to think about! Meanwhile, Challenge Mode adds some more, well, challenge to things. In this mode, you can set records for the fastest time or least amount of water used and then try to beat them. So far, only the first level is available here but more will be added soon.

In the final mode, Specials, you’ll find extra jobs that don’t appear in Career Mode. The only job currently available in this mode is cleaning the Mars Rover (with the amusing location, “Surface of Mars”), but more will be added to the game in due course.

Expansions and In-Game Purchases

There are no in-app purchases or expansions currently available, however, the game is still in Early Access, so things may change in the future.

Placing the Ladder in Powerwash Simulator, Screenshot by Sophie Brown

Powerwash Simulator: Verdict

As is probably obvious from my comments so far, I absolutely loved Powerwash Simulator right from the first time I played it. It’s a game that sticks to two core concepts of simple and satisfying, and for someone like me who has been known to watch videos of people power washing their gardens on TikTok, it’s pretty much a dream come true.

What I really appreciated about this game is how relaxing it is. There are no complicated storylines to keep track of, no stress to complete jobs as fast as possible, or while under difficult conditions, you can’t even hurt yourself if you happen to misstep and fall off a high roof. It’s all just laid back in a way you rarely see in video games. That’s not to say there is nothing to think about here. There are still some tactical decisions to occupy you. Which equipment should you buy next? Would it be quicker to wash that wall by standing on the ground with a long extension hose, or is it a better idea to walk around the building and bring over a ladder or scaffold to climb up? However, you’ll be under no pressure (pun intended) to make those decisions rapidly, and if you realize you choose poorly, no biggie, just switch tactics partway through.

Of course, with a game like this, there is always an argument that it is boring and/or tedious, and without doubt, there will be a lot of people who think that way. The tedium aspect does indeed hold some weight. Jobs are frequently long enough to require several sessions to complete, and once you’ve cleaned a window on one house, there’s not really any difference between that and the next window or the one after that. I’ve found, however, that the game is ideal for playing whilst listening to audiobooks and podcasts or even watching YouTube videos on a second screen. It satisfies that urge to fidget while never being complicated enough that I find myself 15 minutes further into a story with no recollection of what happened.

As for my final verdict, I imagine that your first thought when hearing about Powerwash Simulator will be exactly what you end up thinking of the game itself—whether you couldn’t imagine anything more boring or immediately thought that finally, someone had created a game just for you. It’s certainly not a game for everyone, but for those who understand its appeal, it couldn’t have been designed better.

GeekMom received a complimentary copy of Powerwash Simulator for review purposes.

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This post was last modified on August 27, 2021 10:00 am

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