You know when a game drops onto Gamepass that you've never heard of, but as soon as you hear the name of it, a little bit of your brain just kinda lights up? It doesn't happen to me often... but seeing the words Power Wash Simulator just immediately caught my attention. Without so much as seeing any footage of it, I just had this feeling that it was going to make me tick - and it turns out that I was right. I downloaded it on a whim, and I've been playing it on and off ever since.
I like zen games - the kind of thing that you can play that, while not challenging, necessarily, will swallow your attention just enough to put you into a kind of zone. In the past, I've found games like this in the most unlikely of places as well as falling in love with some of the more predictable ones. Power Wash Simulator, though? It seems to have a positive effect on my mental health in a way that few other games ever have. If any, to be honest. All this from a video game that's about cleaning stuff.
Because that's what it is. Power Wash Simulator drops you in front of a filthy object, kits you out with a pressure washer and a variety of nozzles, and invites you to make a digital world a slightly better (read: cleaner) place. It's as simple as it sounds - and anyone who's ever used a pressure washer in real life or played a first person shooter will find themselves right at home. You hit that RT button... and instead of stuff dying, dirt and grime disappears. It's oddly therapeutic - and it rapidly becomes far more compelling than I would ever had thought possible. "One more round" becomes "one more panel" and before you know it, you've jetwashed half of a children's playground, the album you were listening to has finished... and an hour of your life that you probably should have been asleep for has just slipped past without you really noticing it.
Yep, it's seriously therapeutic. There are a lot of people out there - people like me, I guess - who lack the kind of immediate satisfaction that a game like this can offer you. The feedback loop is instantaneous; you fire a high pressure jet of water at a dirty object, and it becomes clean. Immediately. And it stays clean. The progress is visible every moment. A lot of us have the kind of jobs where the completion of a long and arduous project is immediately rewarded by another phase in that project... or with another project. Working that kind of role, it's very easy to perceive that nothing you do is ever finished... it's just kind of put aside in place of the next IMPORTANT thing or TOP PRIORITY thing. The few projects that do actually end do so with a whimper and a fizzle rather than a bang. Power Wash Simulator is a game that lets you feel like you're actually accomplishing something - and it's all the more special for it.
Video games are just the best things, aren't they?
Have you checked out Power Wash Simulator? Have other games that chill you out that you'd like to share with the rest of us? Hit me up on Twitter!