PowerWash Simulator VR Review
The sprinter van is filthy, and my unenviable task is to make it shine again. Never fear, I have at hand all the tools I need. I’m holding a power washer, and on my toolbelt is a wide range of nozzles, wands, and soaps. I get to work, walking around the van, crouching — even going prone — to clean every inch. Heck, I can even invite some friends to help. I finish with a feeling of immense satisfaction, and even a bit of calm. Then I’m alerted to a few spots I missed, and happily comb the surface of the van seeking out the dirt. This is PowerWash Simulator VR.
As many gamers know, PowerWash Simulator is an unexpected hit, allowing players to spend hours spraying away virtual dirt from doghouses to mansions. It is part of the lineage of jokey games like Goat Simulator that turn out to be way more fun than you’d expect. In the case of PowerWash Simulator, not only is the game pretty deep, it’s relaxing and extremely satisfying. There’s just something in human nature that responds to watching the transformation from dirty to clean. And even better, it requires no effort, unlike real-world cleaning.
The Hands Down Way to Play
PowerWash Simulator has made the leap from monitors to VR, and it’s seemingly effortless. I don’t know if PowerWash Simulator VR is a system seller for Meta Quest, but it’s hands down the way to play the game. I auditioned it on the Quest 3, and my experience was overall very positive. The game also supports Quest 2 and Pro.
In case you’re confused, PowerWash Simulator is all about cleaning stuff. You start with small objects and move to more complex jobs. Eventually, you’ve worked your way up to daunting tasks like houses. Your tools are — naturally — a power washer and specialized nozzles, wand extenders, and soaps, each made for a specific use case. As you wash, you’re rewarded with a satisfying “ding,” which means you’ve completed an area.
The VR version preserves all the content of the PC and console versions. It allows you to move around the object and clean it. You can crouch or go prone as needed, controlled in VR via teleportation or free movement. Your toolbelt hovers around your waist. You grab nozzles and other attachments and snap them to the washer in a way that feels absolutely true to life.
A Few Smudges
Well, almost. The controls and button assignments take a bit of time to learn. They felt just a bit fiddly at times. Rotating my toolbelt with my left hand meant grabbing a specific handle, awkward if it was in an inaccessible place. Once mastered, though, the controls felt well mapped to the Quest 3 controllers. The game features a wide range of accessibility options for movement and object manipulation, and even players new to VR should find a level of comfort.
The ability to move around the object, and have it feel close to real-life scale, is infinitely more immersive than on PC. Thanks to the Quest 3’s additional power and more refined hardware, graphics were sharp and battery life was decent. There aren’t a ton of audio effects in PowerWash Simulator…mostly, you know, the sound of a power washer. I did think the audio was a bit understated and didn’t make quite enough use of the virtual 3D space.
I’ve played a few recent Quest 3 games that technically weren’t quite ready for prime time. I had only a few small issues with bugs and no crashes. It was all smooth sailing.
Make it Shine
My actual car is covered in grime and road dirt, but I’m happy to ignore the laborious task of washing it in favor of doing the same task in virtual reality. PowerWash Simulator has always been an addictive, relaxing, and satisfying game. PowerWash Simulator VR feels like a game that has found its true home and the most convincing version of itself possible. It’s a great addition to the growing library for the Quest 3.
***Meta Quest code provided by the publisher for review***
- Incredibly fun and satisfying
- Great port from PC
- Sharp graphics on Quest 3
- Decent battery use
- Controls take practice
- Underwhelming audio
- A few minor bugs