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Very Linear - No Henchmen... Not your mother's Carmen...
on April 20, 2008
For those of us who played the classic APPLE IIe version of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" this game is a far cry different than the original. In the original, and most of the remakes, the format was the same with a full selection of ten to twenty V.I.L.E. Henchmen, as well as Carmen herself. The format used a random selection system with an anonymous villain with random loot from around the world. The game-play was slightly repetitive, with nearly unlimited cases to play over and over, but still with a very addictive style - and fun!
The game being sold in this YELLOW jewel-case (AND the BLUE jewel-case that is a mirror image of the cover of the yellow one) is a modernized story arc that is very linear. The only villain is Carmen herself. There are six main cases which flow continuously into one another, without room for a pause. The seventh case is more of a comprehensive collection of all of the stolen artifacts from the previous six cases being bundled into a story wrap-up...
I played through this the first time and it only took about five hours from install to end credits. For kids, I am sure this simplified version can be fun, but once played to completion, it's kinda boring the second time around.
Sure, I may be well beyond the age market for this game, but I still enjoy the downloaded DOS version that is an exact replica of the APPLE IIe version of the original...
Overall, if you are looking for a cool game that reminds you of your own childhood, this is not the case for you.
Try the versions in the GREEN box or the TAN colored box - anything by Broderbund is more like the original, and far superior.
As far as getting these to run in Windows XP, just make sure to turn on COMPATIBILITY mode for Windows 95,98,ME and you will be fine.
Essentially, each location is a still image with your two animated characters to the left and right of center. There are "hot spots" (like in Myst) that trigger one or the other of the characters to describe the scene or the country or city history or features.
Occasionally there are characters you can click on to hear details or give things to.
There are puzzles (about five in total) which you have to solve or gather the pieces to and arrange in a certain order....
Carmen may show up inside a doorway or after you click a hot spot, only to get away easily.
There are literally A FEW animated sequences in which your characters chase Carmen or watch things unfold, and a looped sequence for "the Chief" speaking to you from ACME HQ.
There are tools worn on the vest of the your characters and there is a cell phone that connects you with "The Chief" and that's about it.