Thursday, Dec 7, 2023
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Review: PowerWash Simulator - Scrubs Up Well On Switch





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In 1998, The Simpsons made a throwaway gag about Bart refusing to perform yard work at home for his mother, then demanding she let him join the queue for the yard work simulator at a local fairground. It’s funny because who would develop a virtual experience of a chore? Moreover, who would want to actually play it?

So anyway, PowerWash Simulator is a game where you use a pressure washer to clean various items and locations. You have a variety of nozzles, cleaning products, and attachments with which you can streamline the process. It’s wonderful and to be perfectly honest has absolutely no right to be as much fun as it is, whether you're going solo or joining friends online for a co-op squirt session.

You’ll start small with cleaning a van bearing your own branding, and then immediately afterwards you’re tasked with cleaning a garden that looks as though it’s been untouched in decades. You’ll blast all that grime to the big sludge bucket in the sky and use the proceeds to buy bigger and better equipment to clean a fire station, a playground, the Perseverance Mars Rover, all typical stuff.

The same satisfying gameplay loop found on other systems remains entirely intact here, and performance (although halved to a maximum of 30fps) is pleasingly stable. The ‘resolution’ of the dirt cleaning process is a bit pixelated when you get in close, but it by no means ruins the fun. Loading times are another story though, ranging from around 30 seconds to one time when we were waiting for well over two minutes as we jumped from one partially complete location to another. Not ideal, but jobs can take so long that you won’t be seeing too many of the loading screens in your time.

Also available is the Tomb Raider-themed DLC, which is strangely not included in the base game, but is free to download from the eShop at the time of writing, with no indication of being paid-for down the line. With this pack you get a whole load of Tomb Raider-y goodies to remotely scrub, and although it's nothing the base game doesn't really already offer in terms of cleaning experience, it's more content to clean, and it's free. Can't really complain.

One thing that is sorely missing, however, is gyro aiming. I don’t think we can stress enough what a match made in heaven gyro would be in a game like this, but it’s made doubly disappointing by the stiffness that the standard dual analogue setup. It’s not a dealbreaker, and there’s still a roaring good time to be had here, but oh how we ached to wave our controller around and have it actually do something in-game.

This should not be as much fun as it isNo really, why are we still playing it?It's just cleaning, but it's so satisfyingI swear I'll just finish one more object...The aiming can feel quite stiffSome long loadsThe lack of gyro feels like a missed opportunity, fingers crossed for a patch

Good710

Scoring Policy Review copy provided by Square Enix