Powerwash your problems away!
What makes powerwashing so incredibly satisfying? Some say it’s the simple act of taking a seriously dirty item, like a car or driveway, and making it like new again. Others think that the powerwasher itself is what does the trick, lending the user its strength, enabling them to feel… well, powerful as they blast through grease and grime with a practically destructive force. Even popular YouTuber Markiplier weighed in, positing that the mere simulation of powerwashing gives people the illusion of homeownership, adding that such a dream is often out of reach for many (stopping just short of mentioning his own multi-million dollar home he recently purchased).
Whatever the case may be, Markiplier isn’t the only one who can’t get this game out of his head; with nearly 5,000 reviews and the majority of them glowing, PowerWash Simulator has already received the highly coveted Overwhelmingly Positive rating on Steam just two months after entering Early Access. And, after spending an ungodly amount of time with the title myself, I think I’ve figured out why.
In 2012, a documentary made headlines for its groundbreaking approach to psychology. Called Happy, the film shed some light on what little science existed on the state of happiness, how these researchers measured it, and their general conclusions. They mentioned a few seemingly no-brainer methods to achieving happiness, such as appreciating nature and physical exercise, but one thing in particular that stood out to me was “flow state,” or doing something that you enjoy to the point that you get lost in your activity. PowerWash Simulator provides a virtual version of the first two items, but the flow state? That’s real.
PowerWash Simulator is easy to play and even easier to understand — you have a powerwasher and a plethora of dirty things to clean. You’re outside washing any given number of things, be it a car, a house, a cottage in the woods, a shoe… you know, the usual. The air is clean, birds are chirping, and the powerwasher is apparently connected to Lake Superior with its seemingly unending supply of water. There’s no time limit and no wrong way to do this — see some dirt? Powerwash it. Simple, right?
While it’s easy enough to grasp, the jobs can seem pretty big at first. An entire playground, a skate park, even a fire station! Sure, you’ll earn money for your trouble, but this is the kind of job that seems so big it’d be even easier to just keep putting off. To be honest, how many of us are guilty of that in general — see a herculean task ahead of us and push it off until we’re in a better head space to manage it, then watch as it gets so out of hand that you either have to let it go or pull an all-nighter just to get it done. Happens to the best of us, right?
Here’s the beauty of PowerWash Simulator — each job is broken down into incredibly small tasks that payout a fair sum for the work. Instead of waiting until the end of the haunted house job to pay out $350, you can wash off a few windows and do the driveways for some quick cash, then use those earnings to buy better upgrades that’ll get the job done faster.
Or — and here’s the beauty of it — you become so used to completing small task after small task to the point where your brain rewards you with small bursts of dopamine, prompting you to stay and finish the job.
Welcome to the flow state.
Maybe PowerWash Simulator didn’t set out to exemplify healthy goal-setting practices, but it teaches them nonetheless. Breaking large goals up into smaller tasks, then completing them one by one in a calming environment with bright light, natural surrounds, and — perhaps most importantly — no time limit, players will find they’re not only having fun, but feeling accomplished. Accomplishments tell the brain to dole out that dopamine, and best of all, we get to watch a most impressive time lapse video after a hard day’s work.
These virtual victories may be small, but after the year we’ve just had, we deserve them.
Be sure to check out PowerWash Simulator on Steam Early Access today!