Car Detailing Simulator

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Car Detailing Simulator (Nintendo Switch) – Review

Published by Ultimate Games and developed by 100Games in Poland, ‘Car Detailing Simulator’ puts players behind the pressure washer to clean the dirt and grime from a wide range of cars and restore them back to their former glory. Originally released in 2021, on PC, then later on mobile devices, Car Detailing Simulator is now available on Nintendo Switch.

The game begins with comic book-like cutscenes, detailing the story of the unnamed protagonist who worked at a high-end, award-winning, car detailing studio. After players complete their first job, a major flood hits the town, destroying various properties including the studio. Now with nowhere to work, you decide to open your own car detailing studio, starting from scratch inside a shed. It is up to you to build your business by taking on any jobs that become available and building your funds to buy higher quality tools, old cars to restore, and bigger studios.

The first job in the game before the studio was flooded, acts as a tutorial and gives players a preview of what’s ahead, by giving them most of the big tools to play with. Of course, after the flood, players get the ‘Metroid’ treatment and lose all their tools when starting their own studio. The tutorial itself can be confusing at times and very unclear with its instructions. Players may find themselves repeating the actions as detailed in the instructions until it triggers the next part of the tutorial.

After eventually completing the tutorial and prologue, players will be working from from a shed with limited funds; just enough to buy some basic tools to complete their first job. The aim of the overall game is to build your business from a small shed to a high-end studio like at the beginning of the game.

Players will earn cash by taking on various jobs that become available, and by buying old cars that have seen better days, clean them to look as good as new, and finally selling them for profit. Restoring old rundown cars back to their former glory is always an incredibly satisfying feeling.

The game features a lot of elements from the actual job, from spraying foam or solution, pressure washing, vacuuming, wiping down, and more to clean the exterior and interior. Gameplay is kept very simple, but the controls on the Switch version don’t feel compatible. The game was clearly designed with mouse and keyboard in mind, and not much thought was put into porting the game to Switch. Players can get the job done eventually, but the PC version feels so much faster using the mouse to move the hose, spray, vacuum, or towel.

Using those same items with the right joystick on Nintendo Switch feels clunky, frustrating, and very tedious. There is also no option to change the X or Y axis of the camera, which can be confusing for some players forced to use the default settings. Constant loading times just navigating through menus, is also quite irritating.

Even the mobile version of the game has more responsive and precise controls utilising the touchscreen. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t make use of the Switch’s touchscreen features at all and the same goes for its gyro controls, which would’ve been absolutely perfect holding a single Joy-Con to aim any of the tools and get the job done. This is an incredibly missed opportunity for the Switch port of Car Detailing Simulator.

There is a feature that highlights any remaining spots that need to be cleaned in red, which comes in really handy for players to see what they’ve missed. This feature isn’t quite as helpful when detailing a red car, however, so different coloured highlights would really improve things.

The graphics in the Switch version are also a big downgrade from the PC original. On PC, there is far more detail in not just the fancy cars and studios with all the tools and supplies on display, but also the dirt, grime, soap, and water which are a major part of the game. Seeing drops of water up close on the vehicles really adds to the experience of being a car detailer, but the Switch version has none of that. After spraying off the soap with water, the cars just look dry without a drop of water on them, but at least they’re clean.

Another game, ‘PowerWash Simulator’ does the washing feature much better, looking and feeling more realistic, even having cars to clean but only the exterior. It might be due to the Switch’s hardware limitations, even though there are far better-looking games on the same console. Overall, the game doesn’t look terrible, but there’s a clear distinction between this and the PC version. The background music has a very country-rock, road trip feel, perfectly fitting the overall atmosphere but can be turned off if players prefer to listen to something else on a separate device.

Car Detailing Simulator on PC was a fun recreation of the car detailing business, but the same can’t be said for the Switch version. Even if the graphics couldn’t match what the PC can achieve, there were still plenty of opportunities to capitalise on the Switch’s unique control features, but instead feels like a lazy port and pale imitation of a fun PC game. Car Detailing Simulator on Nintendo Switch can be fun for a little while, but there are far better alternatives on PC and even mobile devices.

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The Good

  • Recreates the experience of the car detailing business
  • That satisfying feeling after cleaning a car inside and out
  • Wide range of good looking cars new and old
  • Variety of tools to get the job done
  • Country-rock music

The Bad

  • Switch controls feel clunky, frustrating and tedious
  • Downgraded graphics from the PC version
  • Doesn’t take advantage of the Switch’s unique control features
  • Constant load times just navigating through menus
  • No option to change the camera’s X or Y axis
  • The game is more fun on PC and even mobile devices

Written by: Sammy Hanson


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