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Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?

DOS - 1989

Also available on: Amiga - Commodore 64 - Genesis

Year 1989
Platform DOS
Released in United States (1989)
Brazil (1992)
Genre Educational, Puzzle
Theme Detective / Mystery, Geography, History, Time Travel
Publisher Brøderbund Software, Inc.
Developer Brøderbund Software, Inc.
Dosbox support Supported on current version (works best on 0.65)
4.1 / 5 - 31 votes

Description of Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?

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Undoubtedly the most successful edutainment franchises, the Where in [xxx] is Carmen Sandiego? is Brøderbund '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. Two thumbs up for all the games - and happy hunting! :)

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

The Bard of Blasphemy 2015-09-28 2 points

Great game that I hammered for countless hours as a kid in the early 90s. It came with an encyclopaedia back then but these days, with google and wiki, this game is almost too easy!

In response a comment: the copy-protection question (to get promoted) appears but is obviously cracked because I was promoted by simply pressing the "enter" key.
In response to another comment: yes, time moves fast in this game but it is definitely winnable. If you can't capture people then you are wasting too much time. You only need one clue per location (witness, informant or scan) to know where to go next. Never press "compute" in the evidence section until you have a minimum of three pieces of data (four is better) or you won't get a warrant. Just press escape after entering your data until then.

Kyle 2013-11-24 1 point DOS version

is it just me or does time move by very fast. i cant even get close to capturing anyone by the time i get enough evidence its too late.

James 2011-08-20 0 point DOS version

The problem with this game is that it is copy protected and you need to use the encyclopedia that came with it to get promoted (move ahead) [it will ask you to enter the word at the top of a page].

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