So, this month, Xbox added PowerWash Simulator to Game Pass. I figured it was just another one of their filler games so they can have a larger library. But I didn’t think anyone would actually want to play it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m in a fair few Xbox groups, and almost everyone was talking about the game! So I wondered if maybe they were playing it just for the memes. But since being launched on Game Pass, the number of players shot up to over a million, so I figured there must be more to it than that.
Either way, I eventually decided I’d download it and see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but I thought that maybe it would have some easy achievements. Well, that was wishful thinking. Achievements are slow and hard to come by, so that couldn’t be why everyone was playing it. And yet, the more I played, the more I started to understand. So… Why is PowerWash Simulator so popular?
One thing that stood out to me about the game is that it’s very realistic. It doesn’t feel like you’re playing a game, instead it’s completely immersive. There’s no soundtrack, just sound effects like the sound of the water jetting out and hitting objects. In real life there’s no background music, so this made total sense for a simulator.
The textures are also spot on. This game has loads of different jobs each with unique objects and settings, and the developers have done such an impressive job with the assets. Everything is so detailed, you could really believe that these are real places that you’re cleaning. The proportions are perfect, and the colours change as the water hits them, becoming darker/ lighter as they dry.
It’s also pretty hardcore. Just because it’s a game, don’t expect it to be any easier than it would be in real life. You’re going to be spending a LOT of time cleaning. For example, there’s a job cleaning a playground, and it took me 2 and a half hours to finish. This game is a grind, but it’s realistic, and I can appreciate that.
You may think that I mean ‘boring’. After all, with levels taking a couple of hours to complete, how could that possibly stay fun? But the thing is, there’s just enough interest to keep you hooked. The levels have enough variety that each section feels like something new, so it doesn’t really become monotonous. Instead, you get into a steady rhythm, and it’s almost like time fades into the back of your mind. Nothing else matters, just cleaning.
In the busy modern world that we live in, our brains are usually on and active every single second of our waking life. There are millions of thoughts buzzing around in there, causing us stress, worry, and anxiety. But when you’re focused on just cleaning the next bit of dirt, your mind can switch off for a bit. It’s slow, mindless work, without any physical exertion.
Why is PowerWash Simulator so popular? Because it just allows you to calm down for a bit. It’s hard to find something so relaxing yet attention-grabbing.
There’s something mesmerising about watching patches of dirt disappear to reveal vibrant colours underneath. You start a job, and you’re surrounded by dirt and grime everywhere. Yet little by little, as you put in more work, it starts to reveal its true nature. By the end, you find yourself with assets that look completely different. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to look around at the sparkling setting and know that you did that.
Plus, the lines are so smooth. You have this strong power washer, and it just slices through the dirt. And you end up with these beautiful clean lines where two colours meet, one dirty and brown, the other with all the vibrancy that it was always intended to have. With dirt so thick, you can really see the difference, and you can have fun drawing shapes or writing your name. Or perhaps, you just enjoy going through section by section, watching as it becomes more and more pristine.
One reason why PowerWash Simulator is so popular is because there’s so much variety. Surely cleaning is cleaning? No, no, no, there’s more to it than that. If you were constantly cleaning the same thing, it would get boring. But each job brings something new and exciting to the table. You find yourself in all sorts of different settings, with different types of objects to clean. There are also some jobs that are longer than others, and it can be nice to intersperse them. If you’ve just cleaned a large yard, maybe you can clean a motorbike next just to have something nice and quick.
You also have to constantly think about which nozzle to use. You can use a thicker one that covers more area, but the result is a less powerful stream of water. Or you have more intense nozzles, but they’re very thin, and don’t cover much space. You need to strike a balance between cleaning quickly and cleaning effectively.
You can also access special jobs from the Main Menu, outside of the normal Career mode. These are exciting objects/ places that you’d never get the chance to clean in real life. One of them is the Mars Rover, which is just such a fun idea for a cleaning job.
I don’t think I’d enjoy this game half as much if there were only a Free Play mode with random locations. But what I love about PowerWash Simulator is that the Career mode is really well thought out. You start out cleaning up your van so that you can set up a business in the first place. And then you slowly get access to more jobs as the news spreads. At first, you’re pretty limited in what jobs you can take. But as your reputation builds, more people want to use your services, and you can become more picky about which jobs you do next. I like receiving the messages from prospective clients whilst I’m in the middle of a job.
You also earn money for a job well done. You can then use this to buy upgrades, soaps, and customisation items. There are 4 different power washers that you can unlock as you progress through the game. Each one has unique attachments that you can purchase to make it even more versatile. You can also buy a variety of different cleaning liquids that make it easier to clean certain surfaces. The customisation options make your appearance a bit more colourful, and help personalise your experience.
I started playing simply because I was wondering ‘Why is PowerWash Simulator so popular?” but now I totally get it. Although on the surface it seems boring and repetitive, it’s actually quite a captivating game. I must admit, I’ve spent hours just casually cleaning down various surfaces, and I regret nothing. It may not be as exciting and fast-paced as other games, but it has its own unique charm. If you don’t believe me, then why not check it out yourself? You may think you’re immune to it, but soon enough you’ll be as obsessed as the rest of us!
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