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Why did no one tell me PowerWash Sim has actual lore

Come for the cleaning, stay for the storytelling

Last week I talked about how I spent my week off at Christmas playing PowerWash Simulator like it was my job. When I wrote that, I was about two thirds of the way through the story in Career mode, which turns out to be just before PowerWash Simulator goes as bananas as everyone's home baking in the summer of 2020. I can't believe I need to say this but: this article contains spoilers for the PowerWash Sim story.

PowerWash Sim's career mode is set in a town called Muckingham, and you clean stuff in and around the town. The first thing you clean is your own new business van, in fact. Then someone's back garden, a house, a big RV. Stuff: you clean it! And I figured that the game would just be that you clean things of increasing size and complexity, earning money to buy better powerwash equipment - and thus, the ability to powerwash with greater efficiency. And I wasn't exactly wrong about that. I have cleaned a big wheel at a funfair, and a giant shoe house in a forest. I have cleaned an experimental high-tech plane with anti-gravity engines, and a monster truck with a big fibreglass cat decoration on the top. Having a great old time.

I started to notice little extra things as I played. There's a garden gnome in every level, and a missing cat who leaves pawprints accross the mud you're cleaning, or else can be glimpsed perched on top of a vantage point near where you're at work. Details and jokes I appreciated. There's a special one off level where you clean the Mars Rover, in situ on the planet surface. There are alien footprints in the dust, and you can see them approach the Rover, stand around as if looking at it, and then walking up to one of the wheels, which has, in the game, a metal parking clamp applied. Good stuff.

Your clients will send you texts when you're working, and I sort of skimmed them a bit, because I was washing stuff at the same time, and the texts come in as pop ups at the side of the screen. My friend Harper seemed to be going on some kind of expedition to the volcano near the town, someone wants me to powerwash their treehouse, the mayor is an asshole, yada yada etc. and so on.

Cleaning a giant statue of a fish-man in PowerWash Simulator
This fishy boy. Lookit.

Then an archaeologist asked me to powerwash a giant statue of some kind of aquatic humanoid, in the middle of a desert, and I realised I should have been paying closer attention - especially because when I cleaned the statue it shot a beam of light out accross the desert. Soon after that, I was asked to clean a flying saucer. Then a ship that had been sort of tidal-waved after encountering a delicious fish smell (which had drawn all the local cats to the shore). The final level in the career mode is discovering the lost city of Atlantis was actually in the pacific, and cleaning a huge temple built by an ancient civilisation that is dedicated to yourself, the powerwasher.

I'm not going to go into all the details because this article spoils enough as it is, but the story of PowerWas Simulator is that you save the world! By powerwashing! My favourite thing is that the game closes its own logical loop by using time travelling scientists, and that the flying saucer has gravity engines on it that you can tell are the evolution of the ones on the advanced plane prototype you cleaned earlier in the game. There is no way that PowerWash Sim needed to have a story this well thought out and fun! But it does!

Powerwashing an ancient temple in PowerWash Simulator and uncovering a mural dedicated to you, the powerwasher
Reader, I lost my mind

And on one level I get why nobody talks about this. It's a delightful surprise. It's like the ending of The Mousetrap. But on the other hand, I feel like people should at least hint at it more because it's a big selling point! I hope it's expanded on in many DLCs. I can't think of many other games where the story goes way harder than it needs to. Can you?

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