As an ACME Detective Agency greenhorn in the pursuit of Carmen Sandiego, you employ your Chronoskimmer 450SL to travel through time in the search of the next clue that eventually results in the recovery of the stolen item, apprehension of the theif, and the eventual capture of Carmen herself.
Not much new in terms of the basic premise, all trivia questions relate to American History...obviously. The graphics are greatly improved over previous Carmen Sandiego games.
I have to say, that this one seemed to be the most educational Carmen Sandiego so far. I liked it and I hope you will too. It is somewhat true to the series, but there things that set this game apart from the rest of the series.
Again we have a gang of thieves, who are committing crimes and you need to capture them one by one, by searching for clues, trailing them, identifying them and bringing them in for trial. After you capture all the henchmen you go after Carmen herself.
Again you have three bits of info about the next step of the culprit and you need to plan your next step on the information given.
But what is different is the in-game help!
You have a map of the US, divided in 6 sections. This means you basically only have six locations you can visit. But there are different historical eras in which you get to visit each location. A map, where you select both the location and historical era, also includes some notes about a certain territory. So if the clue says the suspect wanted to attend the ceremony, where they proclaimed Arkansas a state, you already know where and when to go (just look at the map, find Arkansas and you'll see when it became a state).
The clues to the identity are a bit more ambiguous and I admit I had to use the net to search them. OK Mohamed Ali (as a favorite athlete) was easy enough, but when the clue says that a person's favorite artist is a photographer I had to check them all to see who is a photographer.
So the game managed to keep the entertainment values of the Carmen Sandiego series, from the funny animations of V.I.L.E. henchmen, down to lovely names of the crooks, such as Leaf Malone (leave him alone) or Stanley Cupp (not the hockey tournament), but also tried it's best to get you searching for information. You don't have to know them by heart, but you have to think logically and search for info (within the game or outside it).
All in all a bit above average for this game, even though it still had some inconsistencies, such as giving you three different clues, but all of them pointing at the same location in the same time period (like an event in Texas in New York in 1978 and in Washington DC in 1982).
Part of the Carmen Sandiego Series
Undoubtedly the most successful edutainment franchises, the Where in [xxx] is Carmen Sandiego? is Broderbund's flagship series that has spawned numerous sequels, TV shows, and even board games. Premiered in 1985 with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, subsequent releases have sold millions of copies collectively worldwide. But until multimedia CD-ROM versions of the game appeared in 1995, the individual Carmen Sandiego titles were not all blockbusters.
The premise behind every Carmen Sandiego game is identical: starting out as a rookie detective, your job is to track down a gang of thieves who are stealing the world's (or the galaxy's/USA's/Europe's/history's as the case may be) most precious treasures. After each assignment briefing, you are given a deadline to capture the thief. Then it's off to the travel screen, where you pick the next destination to track the thief. At each location, you must interpret various clues from a number of sources (informants, etc.) to figure out the thief's next stop, as well as his/her identity. Your mission is a success when you track the thief to the right final hideout (plus time period, if you are playing Where in Time version) with the arrest warrant issued for the correct suspect before the deadline. Missions are progressively more difficult as you solve cases and win promotions.
Every Carmen Sandiego game contains hundreds of clues, attractive graphics and cartoons, and fun gameplay that will captivate kids and adults alike.
Between the original 1985/86 CGA versions and after 1995 (where CD-ROM era began), Carmen Sandiego games can be categorized into 2 groups, each based on the underlying engine: the first group comprises "VGA enhanced versions" releases between 1989 and 1992. In this group, in the order of release, belong Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, Where in Europe is Carmen Sandiego?, Where in America's Past is Carmen Sandiego?, Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego? (Enhanced), and Where in The USA is Carmen Sandiego? (Enhanced). The second group are games released between 1992 and 1994 that are based on the improved game engine that offers high-res VGA graphics, thousands of clues (as opposed to hundreds), and a more polished interface. These include Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition, Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego?, and Where in The USA is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition. Of all these games, Where in Europe is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in The USA is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition are the hardest to find.
All 8 aforementioned releases are now available for download from this site, as a tribute to one of the best edutainment series ever made. Whether you have a kid in your house or not, Carmen Sandiego games will glue you to the screen for hours on end if you have even a slight interest in geography, history, or trivia in general.
People who downloaded Where in America's Past is Carmen Sandiego? have also downloaded:
Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego?, Where in The USA is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition, Where in Europe is Carmen Sandiego?, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? CD-ROM, Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time, Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition, Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego? (Enhanced)
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