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PowerWash Simulator VR review

PowerWash Simulator VR Review

I’m not saying I’m a dedicated PowerWash Simulator player, but putting in over 100 hours has to mean something, right?

I don’t imagine many of us anticipated quite how addicting and fun PowerWash Simulator would be when it first launched in 2022. There’s just something wonderful about the mundane task that is powerwashing other people’s stuff. And now, following its launch on PC and later on consoles, you’re able to jump into the world of powerwashing in virtual reality.

PowerWash Simulator VR features the same beloved levels players will recognise from the PC and console versions of the game but in an immersive world that you can walk around in for real. It’s pretty much the next best thing to actually having to powerwash your gran’s driveway — and you don’t even have to leave your living room.

As one might expect, PowerWash Simulator VR does leave a bit to be desired in terms of visuals. While the game’s levels are as colorful and cute as ever (once you clean all that pesky dirt off, of course), playing on Meta Quest 2 for review, the graphical fidelity takes a hit. The further away you are from an item, the more it loses its polish. The upside of playing in VR, however, is that it is much easier to see the dirt fall away as you spray – though spotting the last few specks can still cause a bit of an issue. Use of the button that allows you to see remaining dirt is a must-have in order to truly get everything squeaky-clean.

Happily, though, PowerWash Simulator VR still shines where it matters. The general gameplay here is as satisfying and smooth as it ever was in the “flat” version of the game. Movement of the washer works perfectly with the Meta Quest’s controller and the ability to teleport around each level using the controller’s left joystick is simple to use and easy to get used to. You can also move objects around such as ladders and step stools to be able to reach higher locations – but placing things in the right place can be a little fiddly.

PowerWash Simulator VR review
Image: FuturLab and nDreams

I’ve noticed that PowerWash Simulator VR seems to be much more forgiving than its PC and console counterpart. Previously, players had to find every last miniscule trace of dirt before completing a level. But in VR, I’ve been able to complete levels having just found most of the dirt. It’s a very welcome change, making levels less frustrating – particularly as looking around in VR isn’t quite as easy as it is in the flat version of the game.

Related: The Best VR Games on Meta Quest

As you progress through the game you’ll earn money for completing jobs. That money can be spent on various tools, improving your cleaning abilities and expanding your powerwashing arsenal. You’ll be able to get your hands on more powerful machines, new nozzles and various cleaning liquids amongst other things, all making attacking dirt and grime easier than ever. When it comes to selecting these items, PowerWash Simulator VR provides a new way to choose a tool: an interactive toolbelt. Look down, and you’ll be able to pull something out of it. It adds to the immersion, but the toolbelt can sometimes get in your way as you crouch down to reach low areas. If it does become a problem for you, it can be turned off the game’s option, with tools then being selected via a regular menu

You can choose to play PowerWash Simulator either sitting, standing or roomscale. When playing stationary, you can move around using a teleportation system, using the left thumbstick to move yourself around the in-game area. It’s smooth enough, but if you’ve got the space to play roomscale, you’ll find that you’re able to get that bit closer to objects and buildings.

For levels where you have to reach up high, however, I ran into a few issues. If you’re not a fan of heights, the vertigo here is real – I don’t recommend looking down when you’re standing at the top of a tall ladder. I also had a few instances of the camera jerking around as I moved, which may be a little unpleasant if you’re particularly sensitive to VR sickness. It’s not too much of a problem, but something to be aware of if you know you can be affected by nausea. It’s a shame that levels tackling heights can’t be skipped over, as it would make the experience more accessible to those players.

A few niggles aside, PowerWash Simulator has translated very well to virtual reality. Getting into the nitty-gritty of cleaning the town of Muckingham is just as enjoyable and relaxing as ever, offering upwards of 20 to 30 hours of gameplay in the main campaign alone. Despite a few wonky controls and mechanics, PowerWash Simulator VR is just as fun as its flat screen counterpart – and every bit as addictive. Just don’t look down when you’re standing on a ladder.

PowerWash Simulator VR Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of PowerWash Simulator VR is based on the Meta Quest 2 version of the game, via a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on Meta Quest 2, 3 and Pro.

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