PowerWash Simulator Review – Filthy Rich
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PowerWash Simulator Review – Filthy Rich

At one point while playing PowerWash Simulator, I referred to it as time-consuming. I meant this in the context of planning my time to write this review, but it occurred to me that in this case it's also a statement of identity. PowerWash Simulator consumes time--that's just what it does, and what it's meant to do. Like many chore-core games, it exists to be a satisfying activity, not a challenge. That can make it feel tedious and repetitive at times, but taken in small doses, it's a pleasant, low-impact, and very satisfying approximation of cleaning.

As the name suggests, PowerWash Simulator puts you into the rubber galoshes of a burgeoning power-washing business owner in the absolutely disgusting town of Muckingham. Just about everything is covered with a thick layer of grime, and you're just the person to clean up this town. You start with some basic equipment and a dirt-caked business van--your very first job and then a prop at every job site thereafter--and get called to increasingly complex jobs as you develop a loyal clientele.

That may make the story sound more expansive than it actually is. While Muckingham has a good sense of personality thanks to a motley cast of weirdos, we never actually see any of them face to face. All of their dialogue is delivered through messages requisitioning you for jobs or text messages they send while you're in the middle of a job. These are often funny and add a little personality, as they detail everything from interpersonal rivalries to corrupt local politics to conspiracy theories. No one really seems to notice or comment on why the entire town is so absurdly filthy, but the texts sometimes toy with those expectations, seeming to tease some larger or even supernatural force at play and then pulling back toward the mundanity of an especially dirty suburb.

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