Electronic Theatre Preview: Cate West – The Vanishing Files

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            Cate West – The Vanishing Files is set to launch on Nintendo systems across Europe next Friday, 9th October 2009, and today Electronic Theatre can bring an exclusive preview of the latest Wii release from Oxygen Games. Developed by Magellan Interactive, Cate West – The Vanishing Files will be labelled by many as being a simple Hidden Object puzzle game, but a closer inspection reveals much more within the games’ pages.

            Cate West is a Mystery novelist haunted by dreams revealing a mystery from her past, and visions of the future. With a series on crimes remaining unsolved – nicknamed “The Vanishing Files” – Cate’s extraordinary powers are considered the best possibility of finding an answer. The player will step into the shoes of Cate West through fifteen chapters of the intriguing story, and Electronic Theatre can offer you a glimpse at the Prologue and very first chapter right now.

            The Prologue sets the scene fairly well for what the player shouldElectronic Theatre Image - Cate West Blip expect from the larger game, throwing three different visual challenges at the player without hesitation. The Hidden Object game will be familiar to most owners of Current-Generation systems, with the advent of precise control systems and digital distribution allowing for an abundance of such games to be released across all formats. However, Cate West – The Vanishing Files brings along with it Spot the Difference and Match the Objects puzzles in the opening stages.

The game is unsurprisingly controlled via the Wii Remote’s pointer capabilities, with the B Button used to magnify an area of the image and A Button to select objects. Both Spot the Difference and Match the Object puzzles task the player with comparing an image representing photographs with an image representing Cate’s vision of that location. Spot the Difference puzzles are exactly that which the title suggests, while Match the Object puzzles require the player to drag objects from the bottom of the screen to their corresponding position in the picture lacking their presence. Hints are available at any time, though are limited by way of a timer on the availability of the button, and penalties are incurred for too many random clicks on the screen in quick succession.

Once Cate’s unique ability has been established, the story begins with an interesting plot technique that borrows a little from Groundhog Day. Chapter Electronic Theatre Image - Cate West BlipOne sees the police coming to Cate, asking for her help – just as she envisaged they would. The game expands upon the formula of each of its’ puzzles as the players progresses and here this is already evident, with the Hidden Object puzzle now taking the player to two different locations. Each Chapter is set across five different puzzles – one of each which the game is comprised of – and promises not only to increase in difficulty, but in scope also as the game progresses.

Cate West – The Vanishing Files may not appeal to the action-hungry audience, but those looking for a more cerebral challenge may well see Oxygen Games’ latest as a potential stepping stone for their interactive entertainment. Set to be released on October 9th 2009, Electronic Theatre will deliver you an in-depth review of both this, the Wii version, and the Nintendo DS game next week.



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