My how games have changed! I remember playing
this game way back in primary school on an Apple IIE computer that
had a monochrome screen which means it was basically black and
white. Originally an e-learning game (and still is) that taught children about
different countries, cultures and places, Australian developers
Mindscape have revisited the series that is once again a game for
children (8 - 12), teaches them about the world and also boasts a
rather strong adventure game aspect.
Before going on, it should be noted that this
game is a classic PC point and click game, so don't expect those first person
shooters or modern adventure games with state of the art 3D
graphics, this title is as far away from those genres as possible.
In its essence, the game is a point and click adventure game with
cartoon inspired graphics that work well with gameplay and gaming
The story once again revolves around
the infamous Carmen Sandiego, a master thief who has once again
started stealing treasures from around the globe. It's up to the
gamer who controls two agents to hunt down the clues and hopefully
arrest this nefarious redheaded beauty. Thankfully players have a
PDA to assist them in the case as they jet set around the globe,
talking to witnesses, solving puzzles and hopefully enjoying
themselves as they progress.
Although you need to find clues and
objectives, you also need to talk to witnesses that gives the gamer
access to a variety of dialog options in order to progress through
the case. Once you have gathered the clues together, you need to
engage in a variety of sometimes contrived puzzles that assists with
the e-learning aspect of the game. Needless to say, for an adult
reviewer, some of these puzzles were a tad tricky but it did bring
back some enjoyable PC point and click memories.
One drawback of the title is that you can only
save the game once you have completed the mission which does make
for some annoying gaming, especially if you only want a quick game.
Thankfully, depending on your child's skill, the missions range from
easy to medium and hopefully should provide them with no problems.
Younger gamers may need some parental assistance though. Once you have completed the mission, you are then
ranked by your agency and some additional clues are given to the
player which will lead you to your next destination.
Graphically, the title is almost a
carbon copy of those old 80's and 90's PC point and click adventure
games, however with a 21st century face lift. Although the
environment are at times Spartan, it's actually not that bad and the
developers have faithfully recreated certain landmarks in the game.
To put it simply, it's almost like a cartoon with simplistic character
designs and a great colour palette. Match that with appropriate
sounds and music and hopefully this will keep most younger gamers
interested, as opposed to the mindless arcade games that are
At a recommended retail price of
$29.95, this should give most younger gamers around 5 - 10 hours of
play, provided it is not played in one session. For an e-learning
game, it's probably one of the better ones available and does give
kids something different to the mindless violence of the console
world of gaming. It's not the greatest game ever made but for the
genre, it's sturdy enough!