[But… Why? #2] PowerWash Simulator
My gaming tastes certainly run eclectic. From RPGs to Shooters, given even a slight prod I’ll at least take a look. Be that as it may, there are still some games I just don’t get. I don’t get why they exist or why anyone would like them — let alone in some cases, why on earth they are seemingly so ridiculously popular.
This time around, I took a look at PowerWash Simulator. As I write this, PowerWash Simulator is sitting at Overwhelmingly Positive (98% positive) across both overall and recent reviews. It even had a co-op mode recently launched! Although I couldn’t convince anyone it would be a good idea, so I went this alone.
Honestly though, coming from House Flipper and being surprisingly engaged by it — I thought I might actually be in for a bit of a fun time. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
What I Thought Before Trying It Myself
Apologies for the orientation flip on the screenshots there — I forgot to get a before and after shot of the side I was working on, so I went around to the other side to get the dirty shot… and then also forgot to get a clean version screenshot before hitting exit on the level. D’oh!
So like I mentioned, I came away from House Flipper surprisingly happy with the experience. I learnt it didn’t contain nearly the degree of tedium that I had anticipated.
I also learnt there was a degree of satisfaction in a job well done — even when that ‘job’ is virtual. But! But, I did also find that the majority of the joy (for me) was in the artistic expression the game provided a venue for.
Coming into PowerWash Simulator, I knew that last element wouldn’t be there — unless I suppose, you count making rude doodles in the dirt while you clean. *shrug*
I expected there would be some progression mechanics, although I wasn’t sure in what form they might take. House Flipper had turned my expectations head over heels around how much of a role tedium played, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect in that regard.
Well- I should start by saying I could only give PowerWash Simulator a little under an hour. So I can’t really give you anything remotely resembling a ‘review’ of the game. But it was more than enough to remove any shadow of a doubt that this was not a game for me.
Where House Flipper minimised much of the tedium, PowerWash Simulator revels in it.
To be fair, there is a small amount of grace in when an object is considered to be ‘clean’, I assume as a measure against turning the game into a pixel hunt if some small corner is hidden in the shadows, unable to be found or whatnot. But this also struck a little discordantly, as the game still expects you to get all the angles — from climbing up high to laying prone in a dirty pond pit. It isn’t enough of a grace to prevent people like me from getting irritated by it. But I also imagine for those who really enjoy the getting-it-all aspect to be quite put off by it. On some of the larger areas — such as the stone-tiled patio area in the screenshot above — the leeway it gives you is pretty significantly large!
There is a progression system — and from what I could tell, it was fairly detailed, too! More powerful power washers, extension arms, soaps and other fittings, etc. I didn’t even get close to interacting with the system though, as the income was dismal vs. the cost of the items on offer.
I suppose in that respect, it is probably a pretty close mirror to reality. lol
For me, this does still fall into the ‘I’m unsure why people enjoy this’ category. You draw lines with water. Depending on the level of grime, sometimes multiple times on a spot to get the worst bits off. Sure, you can make choices like: a) Keep to a narrow spray / high pressure off the bat and get as close to a single pass in smaller increments, or b) Go for a wider spray / lower pressure but then have to go over 80% of it a second time anyway.
Also, I saw some of my tendencies in the real world come into action in this game too. Example: When mowing the lawns, I tend to segment areas off into rectangular areas and ‘finish’ area by area. Draw the outline of the area first, then perhaps go around it a few times before ultimately doing ‘lines’ to finish up the last bits.
It felt rather natural to do that here too.
So I dunno. Maybe someone out there, somewhere, is feeling down about not having more chores to do? If so, boy is this the game for them! More seriously, possibly, possibly it is the case that if you stuck with it long enough to get a few upgrades under your belt the tedium factor would be greatly diminished.
It just didn’t grab me firmly enough to give me any desire to stick around and find out.