Enjoyable but dated edutainment adventure
This is the original in the long-running and hugely popular series of edutainment titles that feature the enduringly villainous character of Carmen Sandiego, a criminal mastermind whose hi-jinx take her into all manner of bizarre places and times. This game lays down a lot of the groundwork for later releases, like Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego? and requires players to track down the elusive thief and her cohorts as they steal various valuable treasures from around the world. Gameplay takes the form of a sort of detective adventure, where players are alerted to new cases and then must travel to the location to collect clues which will help them track down the perpetrator. Clues take the form of puns which when deciphered will lead the player to the next location, where the fun continues. Pick the wrong place however, and you will waste valuable time backtracking, and if enough time is wasted, then the case is failed. While the game is certainly noteworthy as one of the original edutainment titles, and is certainly worth playing for younger gamers who are keen to learn about geography and map-reading, it has aged somewhat and no longer holds quite the same appeal as it once did. It is obviously aimed at a younger audience but suffers from a control system and interface that are frustratingly unintuitive and which hinders the enjoyment value somewhat. If you can get past these niggles however, there is still an enjoyable adventure to take part in and the game must be commended for combining games with education in such a largely successful fashion.