What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Carmen Sandiego: The Lady Liberty Larceny is a short, educational detective adventure only available as a download through the Nintendo Wii Shop. Players employ various math skills in puzzles as they work through a mystery that sees them chatting with a variety of colorful game characters in cities around the world. Parents should also be aware that math problem difficulty fluctuates significantly; and that kids may encounter a frustrating navigational problem near the end of the game that makes it difficult to figure out how to progress. Remind them to return to Staten Island.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- cultural understanding
- global awareness
Thinking & Reasoning
- making conclusions
- collecting data
- achieving goals
Engagement, Approach, Support
A fun game for Carmen fans. Clever puzzles will appeal to smart kids, especially those who prefer reading to reflex-based action.
Kids will explore mathematical concepts as well as world geography, cultures and their customs. Puzzle content runs parallel to middle-school curiculums.
Instructions are provided, but they aren't always clear. Kids may get stuck, and there's little support to be found anywhere outside the game.
What's it about?
The Statue of Liberty is stolen overnight in CARMEN SANDIEGO ADVENTURES IN MATH: THE LADY LIBERTY LARCENY. Taking on the role of a male or female ACME agent, it’s the player’s job to figure out what happened to her by following orders from headquarters, searching for evidence in cities around the world (including New York, Berlin, and Shanghai), and chatting with any civilians or persons of interest they encounter. Ten different math puzzles related to story events pop up through the course of the game, which lasts about two to three hours. Players can practice all of these puzzles -- which feature randomly generated numbers to increase replay value -- outside of the story mode, and set up multiplayer events in which two players take turns solving similar puzzles as quickly as possible.
Is it any good?
Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Lady Liberty Larceny is a short and undeniably low budget production. However, the mystery is interesting, the writing is funny, and the math puzzles -- though occasionally unbalanced -- are fun and original. We loved a calculator conundrum that had us attempting to come up with a series of specific numbers using only a couple of digits and operations, but thought that a challenge involving factor pairs was unfairly difficult for the game’s target audience, mostly due to unclear instructions.
Our greatest beef, though, is that we reached an impasse about two thirds of the way through the game. We were told to visit the next city, but no new cities were available on our world map. Only after carefully revisiting every location and talking to every character we'd previously met were we able to find a way to progress and open the next city. This significant speed bump put a damper on what is, otherwise, a fun and affordable little learning game.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about learning in games. Did this game teach you anything you didn’t already know? Did the math problems let you practice skills you already possessed?
Families can also discuss fun learning activities outside of video games. Do you play educational board and card games? Have you considered hobbies with an educational bent, such as model-building or zoo clubs?