A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The player catches criminals and puts them behind bars. The criminal exploits described are all pretty tame, and often humorous, such as stealing the bases in a baseball stadium.
Positive Role Models
The organization that the player works for is a positive one. Their purpose is to catch criminals and put an end to their crime sprees.
Ease of Play
The controls are fairly simple, with helpful prompts to steer the player in the right direction. The clues are quite challenging, even for geography buffs.
Violence & Scariness
Suspects are apprehended through non-violent means. Players simply click a handcuff icon.
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Products & Purchases
Like most Facebook games, there are two types of cash: one that is earned in the game and one that must be purchased with real money or by participating in offers. The premium currency can be used to instantly travel to locations, or bribe interview subjects to offer more detailed information. Overall, the game does not push its premium currency on the player as aggressively as other titles, and the game is perfectly enjoyable without needing it.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.