Clean up the town in our review of Street Cleaning Simulator

If Garbage Collection wasn’t your thing, Excalibur Publishing has released yet another simulator in the niche public sector workers division. Street Cleaning Simulator is a steady and pretty impressive simulator that can try your patience at times, but rewards the perfectionist in you all. So stick your luminous overalls on, get in your street cleaner and start that engine!

Unlike a lot of simulators, Street Cleaning sim eases you in with a user-friendly tutorial; you’ll get to know the basics, and general operation of your vehicle within 10 minutes via a simple test and it even shows you everything you need to know for the future of your Street Cleaning career. It does have its faults however, whilst it does skim out on a couple of facts such as how to switch between your brushes, it also fails to mention that you can’t drive flat out whilst cleaning, common sense is required in some cases, but for the uninitiated, this issue may fly over their heads, as always, have a read through the controls before you play.

Street Cleaner, like a lot of simulators recently, chooses to disembody the player from the vehicle, and gives them an avatar to walk around with, this adds depth to a game that is otherwise just about the vehicles. Street Cleaning Simulator puts the player into a generic street cleaner, complete with fluorescent overalls, however his animations, along with sound effects is really a bit poor. This is a shame to see when sims like Demolition Company have achieved a playable avatar a lot better through the first person perspective.

Money makes the world go around, and this is ever so much the case in the world of street cleaning; unlike a lot of simulators, Street Cleaning takes all expenses into account; if you want to refill your water tanks for your hoses, it’s going to cost you. If you want to refill your petrol tank, unsurprisingly it’s going to cost you. The most surprising expense you need to make in the game is that disposing of your waste costs you also, it’s a wonder that you aren’t billed for vehicle tax also.

The life of street cleaning can be hard on your vehicle, and occasionally you will need to splash out a bit of cash on repairs for your brushes, however thankfully, unlike some simulators there are no dreaded driving penalties on the roads, so a few hundred spent on repairs can be justified. Save up your pennies, and complete jobs to the most potential and you’ll be able to afford two other street cleaning models.

The game is run off of missions that are emailed to your office, when a job is sent your way you are sent the particulars and rate of pay. Due to the lack of variety possible, the mission scripts are never very exciting, generally you’ll be cleaning filthy roads, or picking up grass or debris, but that is the life of a street cleaner, you’ll just need to worry about how far the job is from your office, and if you’ll need to break out the water hoses or not.

If you find a particular job a little taxing, or perhaps you aren’t a perfectionist that strives for 100%, you are able to invoice your customers after you have obtained a minimum of 60% completion of a job, however you will only be paid for the amount of work that you do, and with a hefty price tag on that shiny new street cleaner, maybe you should become a bit of a stickler with your jobs.

A trend with simulators is found in the traffic AI, regrettably Street Cleaning Simulator is no better, with the requirement to use your warning beacon when out on a job you will find that you cause traffic to back up for miles behind you. Cars do not understand how to overtake you, and you’ll find that the performance of the game can really fall after properly cleaning one side of the road due to backed up traffic.

Thankfully TML have included a setting to turn traffic on and off, while this isn’t a requirement for more high-end spec PCs, if you have an average system you may find a few issues in slow down, turning off Traffic allows you to go about the town as you see fit, and not worry about causing traffic, crashing into other cars, or getting stuck on a junction as you pull out on a red light. Whilst some games like Truck Simulators really benefit from traffic, Street Cleaning Simulator is one that doesn’t really need it to enjoy the game at its full potential.

Because of the nature of your job as a street cleaner do not expect to be driving at the speed of light; your little truck can only go so fast, and it won’t pick up any dirt if you do not take your time, using your beacon will slow your truck down, but sadly there is no cruise control so you’ll need to be giving the game your full attention.

Sound design is not usually high with simulators and needn’t generally have mention in a review, however Street Cleaning Simulator’s sound effects are exceptionally bad; your avatars’ walking and run cycle is inconsistent with the sound of him running, and the sound of your brushes cleaning the dirty streets with water is comparable to white noise, and when you stop them spinning you may find your ears buzzing.

If you are lucky enough to have a half decent computer, Street Cleaning Simulator looks incredible, however on a low-end PC its graphics do not rival most simulators. The care and detail that has gone into the street cleaner is pretty nice, and the controls are pretty self-explanatory once you get to grips with them. Once you master the speed needed to successfully clean the streets and achieve it as fast as possible the game feels somewhat like a cross between a steady long-hauling truck sim, with the intricate vehicle controls of a Digger or Demolition Simulator, there’s no arcade aspects in this sim, it is 100% serious simulator through-and-through.

Street Cleaner Simulator is a fantastic simulator that perhaps aimed a little too high; with some beautiful graphics, the AI still lacks, however the core of the game is enjoyable if a little slow paced, this is one for the hardcore of simulator fans.

three stars

Street Cleaning Simulator is available now from all good retails for an SRP of £24.99, and can be purchased from the Excalibur Publishing website.