Wipe on, wipe off: Pane In The Glass is a VR window cleaning sim you need to play

Now the day where you finally get to play with your own HTC Vive headset has arrived, it’s time to start building up your collection of games. How about one that simulates the joy of cleaning windows? Yeah, really. The game’s called Pane In The Glass, and while we checked out an early version back in February, the full game has now been released to download through Steam.

The great news is, cleaning windows while wearing the HTC Vive turns out to be way more fun than actually cleaning windows in the real world. We played Pane In The Glass during the VRUK Festival event, and had an inordinate amount of fun doing so.

Developed specifically for the HTC Vive by UK-based VR content production studio Rewind, it makes great use of the Vive’s controllers. One is your sponge, and the other a squeegee — the only weapons a window cleaner usually needs; except this is no ordinary mission. You’re being sent up in one of those unsteady-looking platforms that climb up the sides of massive buildings. Here you get a bucket, water, and a speed control, plus your lunch for later on.

What do you do? Clean the windows, of course. Standing on the platform, the windows pass in front of you, requiring a sponge down and a wipe over with the squeegee. Sounds easy, right? It’s not. The sponge soon gets gross from all the dirt, requiring constant dipping, windows are left open and need to be closed, and there’s a seagull that’s always after your grub. And all the while you’re ascending higher and higher, and the windows that need cleaning are more than a stretch away, and everythign starts to move at a much faster rate.

Like the sponge you wield in the game, Pane In The Glass was utterly absorbing to play. The platform setting means you don’t stray outside of the Vive’s play area, you get to use both the controllers in unison, and the gameplay gets more frantic the higher you get. The bright colors, convincing feeling of being in motion, chunky Lego-look world, and the voiceover from your boss giving you feedback emphasize the fun. If you didn’t guess from the title, Pane In The Glass doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Enjoy knocking that seagull off the platform. We did, and could have channeled our inner George Formby all day.

Games like Pane In The Glass, and the Job Simulator demo, where you complete silly tasks set by robots, prove VR isn’t only about engrossing first-person shooters or horror games. It’s about fun, creativity, and easily accessible time-wasters. Pane In The Glass is exactly the type of game many will use to demo the wonders of VR to non-gamers, and is reminiscent of the titles that came right before mobile gaming exploded in popularity.

You can download Pane in the Glass for the HTC Vive from the Steam store right now, where it’s enjoying a limited time offer of 40 percent off its normal $5/four British pounds price.

Article originally published on 02-29-2016. Updated on 08-08-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added news of the game’s release in the Steam store.

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