Review – PowerWash Simulator VR

PowerWash Simulator is one of the oddest success stories in the history of gaming, if you ask me. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of menial task simulators out in the market, with almost all of them being utterly boring duds where I constantly question the likelihood of the existence of a fanbase or demand for them. Then comes FuturLab, a small team from the UK, making a game all about cleaning utterly disgusting objects with high-powered machinery, with no penalties, times, or failstates. It’s just meant to let you relax while cleaning a van, or a garden, or Cloud’s motorcycle from Final Fantasy VII. Considering its easy-going nature, and the fact it’s a first-person game, a VR version was basically an inevitability. PowerWash Simulator VR is here, and just as expected, it’s still pretty good.

PowerWash Simulator VR relaxing

Still oh so relaxing, despite not being visually impressive.

This is, by and large, the same game as the “base” version of PowerWash Simulator, with the exception of the licensed-theme expansions, such as the SpongeBob or Back to the Future ones. The rest of the game is here, from the lengthy career mode to the chance of cleaning the Mars Rover, if you so wish. The main difference between PowerWash Simulator VR and its non-VR counterparts, in terms of gameplay, is the more intuitive aiming system. You can use your hands to reach that pesky spot stopping you from getting a 100% rate on an object, for instance. That alone makes this particular version the best-playing of them all, even if the added issue of having to shove a visor on your face in order to play it doesn’t make it the most COMFORTABLE of ports.

PowerWash Simulator VR suburb

Either this is set in a post-apocalyptic suburb, or I was hired to clean a crack den.

Compromises had to be made in for PowerWash Simulator VR to properly run on the already dated Quest 2 hardware. I say this even though I’m writing this right after playing Assassin’s Creed Nexus, a game that proves the little visor can render some impressive visuals. It looks just as good/bad as the Nintendo Switch version of PowerWash Simulator, with the problem that you’re looking at dated models with limited textures right in front of your face, making these setbacks feel more noticeable.

Then again, this visual compromise and the occasional framerate hiccup weren’t necessarily major deal-breakers. PowerWash Simulator VR has no fail states, being a game meant for you to simply pick up and relax in a borderline static state, so not looking the part wasn’t much of an issue as, say, the setbacks taken in order to shove GRID Legends into the Quest 2. It still looks decent enough, and the act of seeing layers of dirt disappear after a stream of pressurized water is still pretty satisfying.

PowerWash Simulator VR Mars Rover

We’ve finally discovered water on Mars! We can finally clean our rover!

Virtual reality makes PowerWash Simulator more intuitive and immersive, but still very relaxing. Sure, the convoluted nature of having to put a visor onto your face for lengthy periods of time means that this game won’t be played in sessions as long as the ones you’ve been playing on PC or console. Still, you’ll still have tons of fun with PowerWash Simulator VR. I sure did. The superior control scheme, and the novelty of playing such a game on VR are enough to make this particular port of the cult hit my favorite, even though I don’t think it’s the best one, at least technically speaking.


Graphics: 7.0

It doesn’t look as good as its console counterparts, and it does suffer from the occasional framerate issue, though the latter isn’t too much of an issue in such a static game. It still looks charming, though.

Gameplay: 9.5

Even more intuitive than PowerWash Simulator on a console, as you can use your hands to reach that tricky spot stopping you from getting a 100% rate on an object.

Sound: 6.5

I hope you like the sound of highly compressed water coming out of a nozzle. That’s all you’re getting in this game. Though I have to admit that there’s something oddly soothing and relaxing about it.

Fun Factor: 9.0

Virtual reality makes PowerWash Simulator more intuitive and immersive, but still very relaxing. Granted, having a big visor on your head isn’t the definition of relaxation, but the point stands. It’s amazing in shorter bursts.

Final Verdict: 8.5

PowerWash Simulator VR is available now on Quest 2.

Reviewed on Quest 2

A copy of PowerWash Simulator VR was provided by the publisher.