PowerWash Simulator Bikini Bottom DLC
PowerWash Simulator unabashedly knows what it is. Unlike other task simulation games which take themselves seriously, PowerWash Simulator genuinely has fun with itself. When the game launched featuring, military crawling, unlimited ammo, and a zany narrative, we were set or great comedic adventure. FuturLab, the developers, then went on to add DLC content from other games, opening the door in fun new ways.
The latest DLC to grace PowerWash Simulator, the SpongeBob SquarePants Bikini Bottom pack, is entirely out of left field. The previous DLC such as Seventh Heaven from Final Fantasy 7 or Lara Croft’s obstacle course from Tomb Raider fit the motif of believable realism, this pack is something else entirely. Ignoring the fact the Bikini Bottom DLC is about power washing while underwater. FuturLab did a brilliant job recreating the aesthetic of SpongeBob, and each stage is a vibrant cartoon come to life.
Bikini Bottom: Defying Logic In The Name of Fun
I have greatly enjoyed the satisfaction from each level in PowerWash Simulator. The satisfying ‘ping’ of a job well done. Bikini Bottom presents six stages themed from the show, and each one is progressively more interesting and enjoyable… to a point. Conch Street kicks off the DLC with a familiar scene: SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward’s homes. Most PowerWash Simulator levels are straightforward, stoic structures with no moving parts. When cleaning Patrick’s home, however, players can raise the rock to clean underneath. This minor interaction, however small and simple, suddenly opens the door for more interactive stages in future content; an exciting idea.
Bikini Bottom Bus isn’t particularly unique from the usual cleaning of vehicles, although it is a lot easier to tackle than most conventional vehicles. The Krusty Krab stage, on the other hand, is the perfect size for a large level, and it adds some great verticality to keep things interesting. Cleaning the glove at the top of the Chum Bucket or the giant clam on the Krusty Krab sign is a lot of fun to climb up and clean.
As Fun As Cleaning An Invisible Car
The two best stages in the Bikini Bottom DLC, for me, have to be the Patty Wagon and the Invisible Boatmobile. Similar to Patrick’s home, the hood of the Patty Wagon can open to clean the inside of the engine. The unique shape of the vehicle – with all of its ingredient-themed layers – as well as the dial-filled control panel and complex engine, make for engaging interactions. The different shapes and parts of the Patty Wagon are a refreshing change of pace. It sounds so pedestrian to be enthralled with the hinge of the hood, but an interactive environment makes all the difference.
The Invisible Boatmobile is the perfect stage to follow the Patty Wagon. It might be another vehicle, but the clever design of the stage was unpredictably fun. As stated in the name, the Invisible Boatmobile is invisible! It has been covered in dirt and grime, so the level begins with a very dirty boat. As the dirt is cleaned off, the surface beneath is perfectly clear. This means the more it is cleaned, the less you can see. Perspective and angles are huge in this stage as you need to find where each nook of dirt might be hiding. Innovative interactions like this are so incredibly cool, and I hope it sets a precedent for PowerWash Simulator DLC in the future.
It is incredibly fun and relaxing to clean up in this game, but adding minor bits of interactive flare only enhances the experience. That is why, after so many brightly colored, fun levels, I found the final stage to be a bit disappointing.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
The Mermalair is very large. It is a big space in a dark cave with a whole lot of things to clean. I felt like the Bikini Bottom DLC was progressively building more interesting and engaging stages. The designs are superb, and the Invisible Boatmobile set a high bar, but the Mermalair is just… big. Many spots to clean are in tighter areas, so certain angles are more bothersome than fun. The stage took three sessions of playing to finish, as it, unfortunately, felt more tedious than the rise of joy I experienced before. It certainly isn’t a bad stage, it just doesn’t carry that spark that came before.
The plot which carries through across the entire Bikini Bottom DLC about a dastardly dirt maker on the loose also falls flat. The story of being hot in the trails of the suspect drops off with the final stage, making it feel like an afterthought more than a central part of the story. It’s an unfortunate way to cap off an otherwise delightful experience.
From Chill Vibes To Exciting Engagements
PowerWash Simulator‘s Bikini Bottom DLC exceeded my expectations. I went in expecting the same relaxed experience as the base game and other DLCs but found myself engaged and having far more fun. The brightly colored stages and interactive features pulled me in to keep playing. I was hooked to find out the solution to the mystery of who was dirtying Bikini Bottom. Sadly, the final stage fumbles the landing of an otherwise enjoyable experience.
**Series X code provided by the publisher**