So we all know there are seriously five gagillion Carmen Sandiego games out there. Most people have heard of or played at least one if they haven’t seen the cartoon or multiple tv series. Who’d have thought trivia could be so damn fun? My family was no exception to the Carmen Sandiego craze and the first one we acquired was “Where in Time.”
The basic premise:
You’re a detective hunting down criminals who are in some way working for or connected to Carmen Sandiego. You have to figure out whodunit by interviewing witnesses (in different times and places) to find out facts about the suspect and clues to where they went next. Ultimately, you need a warrant for their arrest so it’s a race against the clock to figure out who did it before you actually catch up with them. Otherwise you have to let the criminal go! This is especially unfortunate if you’re chasing down the big CD herself.
Why it’s so mother-effin’ awesome:
1) Trivia is awesome. There’s nothing like good solid facts to get your heart rate up and your brainz a-workin’. It was educational but never felt like it was forcing you to learn stuff. There’s a reason Jeopardy has been on as long as it has. Knowing answers to stuff makes us feel smart.
2) Criminal cutscenes. You always knew you were on the right track if someone appeared on screen with a creepy smile on their face. And when the time came to catch the criminal, they’d run back and forth in a suspicious blue trench coat and then get abducted by a strange UFO. I never really understood that whole process. At any rate, it was clearly very rewarding.
3) Carmen Sandiego. She was a master criminal and she was a woman. And a beautiful one at that. (Plus she had a super sexy voice.) Part of me secretly wanted to run away with her. Wouldn’t it have been cool if I could’ve questioned Carmen Sandiego, made her fall in love with me, and then run off to some tropical island? Yeah, that would’ve been pretty sweet. Expansion pack?
4) ACME Headquarters. The chase itself wasn’t as exciting as the promotions I received for catching criminals. I couldn’t wait to finish my cases to see if I would be rewarded with a new title or move up to the next floor at headquarters. My dad was always on the top floor so I made it my mission in life to equal his mighty brain power. Also, I can’t tell you how many times I played with the coffee machine or turned on the furnace in the basement. Completely useless activities. What can I say? I’m easy to please.
5) It’s simple. It was made it 1989 and is still really fun to play. Even if you cheated the entire time by looking up the answers in the book, that still required some amount of learning and skill. Brøderbund took a simple concept and made it gold. Here’s some trivia and cartoons – have at it. Genius.
So what you can take away from all this is that:
a) I was in love with Carmen Sandiego.
b) It’s the little things in life.
c) My dad is totally smart.
d) It’s awesome and you should play it.
I loved this game so much I actually wish I were playing it right now. Perhaps I’ll do that. If you’re looking to reminiscence or check out “Where in Time”, click the link below for a review and download.
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego at Abadonia
Image from Cover Browser: http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/apple-ii-games/4