Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Joyce Sides
James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, make room--only computerdom's top sleuth (that's you) can thwart the evil schemer Carmen Sandiego. As you travel around the world (not in 80 days, but in 6), you decipher clues that lead you to one of Carmen Sandiego's cohorts who's stolen some treasure. You have to discover the thief's identity and location and arrest the villain.
Here, as in the original Where in the World adventure, you can become an armchair world traveler. She the sites, learn interesting facts, and talk to the natives in various countries around the world. But unlike the original version, the deluxe edition offers digitized photographs from the National Geographic Society in 640 X 480 VGA resolution, 62 animated sequences, 15 more countries to explore, digitized sound, and 2500 clues with higher levels of difficulty. To travel using this super version of the game, you'll need more than a low-end system. It requires 64OK, high-resolution VGA graphics, and a hard drive with a least 6MB of free disk space.
Where in the World appeals to the curious as well as the analyst. You don't need the analytical skills of James Bond, but you do need basic reasoning abilities. If you like the Clue board game, you'll love Where in the World. This game also appeals to those who enjoy word games and puzzles.
What you won't find in this game are lots of shoot-'em-up action sequences. That doesn't mean the graphics are weak. You won't find better graphics in any game that supports VGA. The realism of the background scenery is amazing, and the cartoonlike animated characters that occasionally appear add their own specfial touch.
Sound-card owners won't be disappointed, either. The digitized voices of the Chief and Warren the Warrant Robot and the musical scores during the game's opening sequences enhance gameplay.
Carmen Sandiego's career began in 1985 with the development of the original Where in the World adventure. She created and healds the V.I.L.E. (Villains' Internationa League of Evil) organization. She's rarely if ever involved in the actual crimes, but you can be sure that she's involved in the planning of any big heist.
Starting as a gumshoe (low on the totem pole) investigator, your initial assignment is fairly simple. As you rise through the ranks to super sleuth, your assignments increase in difficulty. Contact the Chief at ACME on your videophone to get your assignment. You'll want to take advantage of the electronic notepad and data-finder to assemble clues and a dossier on your suspect. The Crime Net facility that offers information on your suspects' whereabouts also provides help.
Make sure that you have a warrant for a suspect's arrest, or he can slip through your fingers. As you get closer to the thief's location, suspicious characters appear and begin to ask questions about you. Don't be surprised if you're treated to a sneak attack as you close in on your prey while questioning a witness. If a witness doesn't know anything, you're in the wrong location.
Use The World Almanac and Book of Facts included with the game to investigate the clues you find. Dictionaries and encyclopedias come in handy, too. Write everything down. You never know what bit of information will prove essential.
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? is easy to use and well designed; I'd recommend it for anyone over 12 years old. While playing, I was absorbing knowledge without realizing it. It was fun to search for information on the clues, even at my age, and if both adults and kids can learn and have fun at the same time, Broderbund has done its job well. As far as I'm concerned, the educational payoff of Where in the World makes the game well worth the price, whether you choose the original or the deluxe version. Get Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego and get sleuthing.