In some ways, this is the reverse game to Splatoon. Instead of painting everything you have to clean everything. And that’s all you do. Clean everything. With a power washer1. There are filthy buildings, and objects, and vehicles. Different materials are easier or harder to clean, and you can buy special soaps to assist. Things will be out of reach, so you have to buy longer attachments for your washer. Eventually you need to buy whole new, more efficient and powerful washers to blast away even more stubborn dirt.
And it takes ages.
With cleaning a garden (one of your first tasks) taking nearly an hour, and the final building (no spoilers) taking you, or at least, me, eight or more, it’s as much a job as the real power washing business would be. Even the smaller vehicles can take a while, especially getting into all the nooks and crannies.
Some levels are tricky as finding tiny or hidden areas to clean isn’t easy, and getting on, under or around things to reach the grime can be a challenge. You’ve only your washer, a step, and a small ladder for most of the game to assist, and even when you get scaffolding that doesn’t help with the final tucked away pixels of muck you inevitably spend both an hour looking for, and clean entirely by accident in the end.
Sounds dull, right? It is. Only, somehow, it isn’t. It’s rewarding to finish off a huge wall and get the “flash” and jingle to signify you’ve found all the dirt on it. To see what sometimes isn’t even recognisable as a thing due to the filth on it become a sparkly skate park or jet engine or plant pot or something. To be honest, the feeling of a job well done would be enough to “enjoy” the game, but there’s more here than just that.
Yeah, so you do only wash stuff. There’s nothing else to do (unless you count carrying a gnome around or playing “squirt the football about a bit”), but there is a story. What starts out as a few jobs for the locals – their house, their car – becomes “clean my jet plane that has anti-gravity plates and a laser cannon” and “there’s a dirty statue with weird glowing eyes in the desert, pointing at the volcano which is getting a bit rumbly”. I won’t spoilt it, but boy, does it go somewhere with this. There’s a whole side story about the Mayor and his lost cat. A car that was once used in a film. And the ever-present volcano.
So, after 40 hours play, perhaps even longer, I’d cleaned everything. Even all the toilets in the toilets level. Which, to be honest, was the main reason I started playing in the first place even though I didn’t know for sure there would even be a toilet level. Phew, eh?
- Technically, and the game does point this out at one point with a message from guy who is clearly pushing his glasses up his nose as he types, it’s a pressure washer, not a power washer ︎