At seven years old, nothing wound me down after a long day of learning cursive and playing kick-ball, like coming home to my favorite computer game, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. As an ACME Detective Agency agent, I was puttin’ villains around the globe behind bars left and right. All in the ultimate search to bring the biggest, baddest criminal of them all to justice, Carmen Sandiego herself. You think you’re cool in that fabulous red hat that dips just-so below one eye, Carmen? …okay, yeah, you pretty much are.
Wanting to relive my glory days, I recently did a search on the internet to see what Carmen Sandiego games exist today and the results were pretty unimpressive. IOS has the app game Carmen Sandiego Returns-A Global Spy Game for Kids, with mixed reviews, essentially saying that the app is glitchy, you have to pay more money on top of the initial $3.99 to complete the game, and that it just isn’t the same as the original. Not a surprise, the title alone leaves something to be desired.
Other recent titles include the 2011/2012 series for the Wii, Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math– Math? No, thank you. The original Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? was remade for PC (originally it was meant for Macs), but the reviews for this are also quite lacking, stating that it’s also glitchy and not the same experience. Probably because it’s not being played on its originally intended platform.
Here’s one of my favorite reviews for the PC conversion:
So, what’s the deal? Why can’t I play the original Carmen? The original games were challenging, but still fun, and that’s what made them great. I really felt like a detective, searching down clues and using my dossier to identify the villains. A simple game, unique and classic.
Carmen Sandiego took to other media platforms too. In 1991 Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, the TV game show aired on PBS until 1995. You can find some of the full episodes on Youtube:
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? was a Saturday morning cartoon series that originally aired on FOX in 1994. The full series is available for purchase on Amazon. Honestly, this series might be your best bet if you want a nostalgic Carmen Sandiego fix without ruining your memory of the games due to annoying software issues.
And while we’re going down this motion picture track- Where on Earth is the live-action Carmen Sandiego movie!?! (these title jokes never get old) Seriously, Hollywood, get it together.