Yes, this is a game in which you are actually being given the job of cleaning the streets of a city!
I will be honest, when I took the game, I did not expect a lot from it. I was having fun during installation though as I tried to imagine what the game was going to look like. It was a long install, but for the requirements of the game I did not expect anything faster. It was still done in reasonable time, though, so no problems with that.
I started the game and it was going well until surprise number one – I was expecting that the game would start immediately by having you seated at the cleaning machine, but instead of that the first thing that you see is the back of a worker. The city around you is really detailed,which justifies the high video card requirements.
The tutorial was quick and helpful, which was really nice! There are a lot of control keys that you need to memorise to operate the machine, but I would say they were quite reasonably divided all around the keyboard, making it easy to remember which one does what (a problem that I have always had while playing airplane simulators).
While playing the game you have to keep track of a couple of different things:
1) Water supply – after all, cleaning the streets requires not only your brushes, but water as well. You have a limited supply of it and every time you want to refill, you have to pay for it. A nice addition which makes you think twice before using all your supplies (a lot of the jobs that you get require specifically to use water while cleaning!).
2) Petrol – of course, your machine needs its juice and you should pay attention not to run out of it.
3) Storage – every time when you clean, all the litter that you collect is stored in the back of your truck. When you get full, you need to go back to your starting point and get rid of it in a special place where you once again need to pay
It was really good fun to go around the city and clean the streets, however there were some annoying things as well. Firstly, all around you there are pedestrians which are walking in different directions, doing their job and going about their everyday lives. So far – cool! I tried to run over one and I just went through the guy, that was a little bit disappointing to be honest. I am not one of those guys who will go on a rampage and kill everyone in the city, but still it would add to the realism of the cleaning process if you need to pay attention to the surroundings. (Not to mention that nobody is getting offended when you spray them with the water, while cleaning the streets.)
Second, there is traffic around you. When you are cleaning a long street ( by the way, to clean properly, you need to go really slow, because otherwise you miss some of the litter and you end up getting paid less) not a single car would try to go past you. Instead, you will end up with a line of 15 cars behind you which are just waiting for you to stop and will immediately hit your rear bumper. Once that happens I was expecting that I would get fined by the police (I remember when I used to play “18 Wheels of steel: Pedal to the metal” you always get fined if you do something the wrong way) This did not happen and it was a little bit disappointing because it kind of ruins the fun of trying to be a law abiding citizen.
A great feature of the game is the opportunity to start a business of your own, by hiring more machines and staff. This gives more direction to the game.
I really enjoyed playing the game! Its controls are complex enough and its deep enough to be engrossing for the first few hours of play. However, you need nerves of steel since your character can run faster than the cleaning machine is moving making for a slow paced experience. It also becomes repetitive over time, but I would definitely recommend it to people who would like to take a rest from playing serious games. Even better, if you are having some friends over and you want to have a chat while doing something else then you can easily play on auto-pilot.
A final word of warning: do not try playing the game late at night. There is a serious risk of you falling asleep “at the wheel” and waking up seven hours later and 300 metres from the place where you started dreaming.
6 gleaming streets out of 10