“Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” is a question that has plagued 90’s babies since they first chased the rogue agent-turned-criminal across the globe via a computer game in 1985. There’s been a recent resurgence in popularity after Netflix released a Carmen Sandiego animated show earlier this year. The streaming service is even making a live-action version starring Gina Rodriguez, who voices the current incarnation.
Now viewers can get in on the action themselves, thanks to a new Google Earth Carmen Sandiego minigame. The infamous villain and her team of V.I.L.E. (Villains’ International League of Evil) henchmen are at it again in this (allegedly) third and final rendition. While chasing Sandiego has evolved to incorporate Google’s mapping technology, the mission remains the same: to educate kids.
Google Earth’s Carmen Sandiego Minigame
Back in March, Google unveiled the first in a planned series of its Carmen Sandiego games: The Crown Jewels Caper. Then in May, the adventures continued in The Tutankhamun’s Mask Caper. Now things come to a head in the third and final installment called The Keys to the Kremlin.
The game uses designs based on the Netflix reimagining of the character. Google developed the game in collaboration with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the owner and publisher of the Carmen Sandiego brand. To win the game, players must possess a certain level of knowledge on a specific subject, such as landmarks, languages and world history. Players then put their knowledge to the test in a geography-based trivia game that leads them from clue to clue and around the globe.
“London was founded in the first century AD and has long been home to English royalty,” the first clue reads. Players then have their option of traveling to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, or Tower Bridge.
The goal is for players — who pose as agents of ACME Agency — to eventually capture Carmen and her V.I.L.E. cohorts and to recover whatever landmark or luxury item they stole.
“[The game is] for all those gumshoes who grew up with the chase, and for the next generation feeling that geography itch for the first time,” Google stated in a press release.
The Third and Final Mystery Game
Alas, the world cannot chase the infamous red-fedora-wearing bandit forever. In The Keys to the Kremlin, ACME Agency’s final mission is to track down master origami maker by day and V.I.L.E. operative by night — Paperstar. As the game’s name suggests, the keys to the Kremlin have been stolen from their home in Moscow, Russia (because there’s only one set, evidently, and changing the locks on that place is a huge pain). It’s now the player’s job to visit the scene of the crime, perform a thorough investigation, and recover the loot.
As in the other two games, players use their magnifying glass to find and interview witnesses. They then use the information they’ve gleaned to determine where Sandiego went next. Once they’re sure they have her destination pegged, the player uses the airplane icon to catch the next flight out of town.
How to Play Google Earth’s Carmen Sandiego
If you’re late to join the ACME Detective Agency, no worries – Google allows you to jump in at any time to help in the search. You can sleuth from anywhere with an internet connection and on any Chrome, iOS or Android system. And unlike the surge of esports games on the market, this minigame is free to play on PC and mobile devices.