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Preview – Pool Cleaning Simulator [Demo] PC

I and anybody else that fell into the trap of trying PowerWash Simulator knows how easy it is to be sucked into spending your precious gaming time mindlessly spraying dirt off of different environments and vehicles when you could be doing literally anything else. It’s an addiction. A wonderfully satisfying, relaxing, and time-consuming addiction. Pool Cleaning Simulator clearly aims to replicate that but entirely focused around the cleanliness, repair, and maintenance of, well, swimming pools. Something that, when living in the UK, seemed outlandishly indulgent and expensive, and now, living in Mexico, seems slightly more reasonable but something I doubt I’ll ever have to deal with unless I win one of the lotteries I don’t participate in. Well, let’s just pretend we’re Sims or something.

Not only are we blasting muddy tiles with highly pressurised jets of water but the pools also need draining, their water supply purified, re-filling, and to be mixed with the right amount of chlorine and possibly other chemicals for sanitisation. Having a more complex set of tasks certainly helps set it apart but with only one stage in the demo, it’s hard to see how far this goes, or where it can even go, from there. Of course it had to do something different simply because the obvious comparison I’ve already made is an excellent example of game ‘feel’, where every movement is simple and smooth, making it incredibly easy to slip into that zen state the title is praised for. This is only furthered by the clear removal of grime from the surfaces the player is working on, turning everything into a rush of gratification as the filth just wipes away. Not only that but the constant tiny checkmarks for what must be cleaned presents a clear sense of progression for what can be rather daunting tasks.

This alternative isn’t quite there with all that yet. The controls are janky and it can often drop frames, yanking you out of the experience. The menus and HUD are all distracting and, to be frank, ugly. And the demo is way too short to hook the player in at all. But the core foundation is being set and with such an impressive example to pull from, I’d hope that some time in Early Access might allow this one to stand on the shoulders of its giant inspiration. Right now however, it seems to me like there’s still a lot of polishing to be done.