A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is a Facebook adaptation of the popular PC game that tests kids' knowledge of geography and world cultures as they use deductive reasoning to track down criminals. The game is free to play, but players can spend real-world cash or participate in special offers to enjoy various perks. The criminal exploits mentioned in the game are child-friendly and rather humorous, and there's no adult content. While this game will be attractive to kids as young as age 9, they will not be able to play it since it found on Facebook, which has an age gate of 13.
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What's it about?
In WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANDIEGO?, criminal mastermind Carmen Sandiego and her V.I.L.E. henchmen have launched a global crime spree, and it's up the player to track them down. Players interview witnesses for clues about the criminal's identity and whereabouts, fly to cities to track down leads, and finally issue an arrest warrant and put the suspect behind bars. Players have a certain number of days to complete the case, but can take shortcuts by spending Facebook Credits.
Is it any good?
While the Facebook adaptation of another classic PC game, The Oregon Trail, resulted in a highly commercial and arguably less fun experience, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is essentially the same game as its PC counterpart. Situations that require the premium currency are limited and completely optional, leaving the player to enjoy the game without energy meters draining, or disruptive prompts to spend premium currency and post status updates. The clues about world geography are quite difficult, so plan on having another browser window open to search for the answers. Cases seem to be randomly generated and there are more than a dozen suspects, so replay value is very good.
Online interaction: Players can see which of their Facebook friends are also playing the game without having to manually invite them. Friends can view each other's game profiles and stats, and ask each other for help to unlock special cases. Players can also post to their Facebook wall to ask for help with clues, although in the time it takes for someone to respond you could just as easily look the answer up online.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about researching online. Since teens will likely not know the answers to many of the game's questions, now would be a great time to talk about how to safely look up information online.
How many of the locations in the game have you actually travelled to? Which cities would you love to visit?
Why do you think this classic educational kids' game was brought to a platform that is exclusively for teens and adults? Why are more and more Facebook games being produced?
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