It turns out that being a one man criminal cleanup crew is hard work. I have spent a staggering amount of time virtually power washing filthy buildings in the past, which is why Crime Scene Cleaner piqued my interest as I scrolled through this year's list of Next Fest demos. With a darker premise than similar titles such as PowerWash Simulator and House Flipper, I wanted to find out if it would have the same hypnotic influence over me that they had, despite its more mature approach. Similar to 2015's Viscera Cleanup Detail, you're cleaning up in the aftermath of gruesome violence, but Crime Scene Cleaner has you doing much more than just using a mop and bucket to wipe up the blood and guts.
You're a school janitor who has been denied a pay rise. With a daughter in the hospital, and a very specific set of talents, you do what you need to do and take on gory cleanup jobs from shady clients. This demo has you starting with a brutal five person family murder in a now blood covered villa.
Armed with a decent selection of cleaning tools, I walked towards the building, preparing myself for the bloodbath while also looking forward to cleaning it all. That's normal right? You're thrown straight into a gruesome scene as you approach an outdoor pool containing a corpse floating in the bloody water. A quick wander around the garden was all it took for me to realise that this was going to take me a while and I hadn't even gone inside yet. Time to get to work. I filled my bucket with water, grabbed my mop, and started cleaning those crimson stains around the pool. As with Viscera Cleanup Detail, you have to rinse off your mop and refresh your water once they become too gross.
Next up I tried the power washer. This is where I was ready to shine… or rather, make this house shine. I topped up the water, started spraying, and witnessed the satisfaction of pressurised purification. It's no Power Wash Simulator—you only have two nozzle options and don't get the same satisfaction of crisp lines as you spray away the dirt—but I still enjoyed blasting the blood away despite that. Having to keep topping it up with water did however start making the process feel more like work, disrupting the zen state I like to get into in these games. Maybe that's the point? I was there to do a job after all.
It was only after I'd already spent a while tidying and polishing that I realised I hadn't actually done anything about the dead bodies yet. I started with the corpse in the now emptied pool, headed to my truck, and proceeded to comically launch the ragdolling body into the back. The sheer force used to throw it inside caught me off guard. For some reason I thought I'd be gently placing the deceased… but nope! A few minutes later I had successfully found and thrown all five corpses into my truck. Another morbidly meditative process.
Carrying on into the house I tried out the UV lights to help highlight blood splatter, used my sponge on smaller items, tidied furniture, picked up rubbish, and even hacked the CCTV to remove any incriminating footage. You can also use your 'cleaners sense' to show anything you may have missed, which once triggered will display any dirt left to wipe, trash to collect, and furniture left to move. Another nice touch is that when you look around the place you'll find cash and other valuable items. Though tempting, stealing them increases your suspicion level, which if raised too high can cause you to fail the mission.
Without realising I had answered my initial question. Time had slipped away and I was hyper focusing on making sure I had mopped under every chair and picked up every bullet. If you like getting lost in simple and satisfying tasks and don't mind a bit of gore then you should give it a try.