Reading the words "haunted house cleaning simulator," I knew exactly what diddy indie game Late Night Mop would be. And it is what I had thought. And it is what you will have guessed upon reading that too. And yet, I enjoyed my ten minutes binning rubbish and mopping up stains (just stains, don't worry about it). Then I played it again to see another ending, even knowing I am a big scaredy baby. Ugh. I will regret having played this next time I clean my flat at night.
As a fan of both gutsy cleaning sim Viscera Cleanup Detail and games built upon one silly joke, I leapt at Late Night Mop. I instantly knew it would be simple cleaning (more along the lines of House Flipper than VCD or PowerWash Simulator) and would have spooky noises and startling jumpscares. And yep, that's it. Walk around, clicking on stains and picking rubbish up to dump in bins, and then spooky things are there. That's all. I am pleased with it.
It has an idea, it executes it solidly, and it has a few nice touches which made it for me. I don't usually find jumpscares interesting but did enjoy two of them here. They were placed well and I did find them quite funny after I stopped cussing at my computer (I might not like jumpscares, but that doesn't mean they don't get me). And I like that at the very end, it completely understood what I wanted to do and let me.
I like little games which do a small silly thing well for a short while then stop before the joke drags or wears thin. I suspect many games of the sort are made with screechy YouTubers and Twitchers in mind but hey, I can enjoy them by myself too. Like how prlbrlblrlbing to activate magic trousers in Weird RPG was still funny to me playing alone and unobserved (though sadly that game did not stop before it started dragging).
Made by Lixian, Late Night Mop is available from Itch.io and Game Jolt for Windows and Mac. It's pay-what-you want, with no minimum. If you're planning to play ghostie games this Halloween season, I think you might enjoy this in your lineup.