To Catch A Thief- v 3.5
challenging, thinking/learning game, fun, easy to learn
In the past few days, my daughter and I have been to Nepal, Russia, Australia, Zaire, Sweden, France, Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Egypt and Singapore all without a passport. All this for only $30.00 too!
Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego CD-ROM is a great and fun way for older children to brush up on their geography skills, learn some bits of a foreign language and gain some deductive reasoning skills.
If you remember the game show on PBS, then you'll remember the chief. She's here again on the videophone. She will ask if you want another case, promote you through the detective ranks and provide some tongue-in-cheek humor.
Carmen's henchmen have stolen the world's treasures and you as the gumshoe must return them to the proper country. When you start out, you "land" in the country that has had their precious good stolen and begin to interview friendly tourists about the suspect and where they have jetted off to next.
The clues given by the tourists are not straight-forward and you must use some reasoning to figure out their gender, hair color, height, weight and what they are wearing (camera, hat, watch, glasses). The tourists will also tell you where the suspect went. These clues are based on a country's currency, geographical makeup, foods, customs and other national landmarks. When you want to follow the suspect, click on the globe icon and your videophone opens up to reveal the Earth. You then are given 6 different countries to choose from and watch as your plane takes off. This is the neatest function as you watch the plane, it also gives the departing time, arrival time, how many time zones you have crossed and the estimated flight time.
If you've picked the correct country, you will see 2 janitors cleaning up after the suspect and you can continue to question more tourists until you have the description of the suspect. Once you have that, you can issue a warrant and find the thief.
One game will lead you through about 6 countries. Once in a country, you see a cartoon-ish looking picture of that country's geographical area with images representing highlight of that country (ie. in France, you will see L'Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, etc.) Sometime when you are going from 1 country to the next, you will hear a welcome or flight departing information in a foreign language (ie. Flight 202 is now deparing for Cuba) in Spanish.
As you keep arresting Carmen's henchmen, you are promoted in the ranks. You also have 39 different games to play before you battle wits with Carmen herself (we haven't gotten this far yet).
Two other great features are a foreign language tutorial which will give you some basic phrases in 10 different languages. You can learn "my name is..." in Spanish or "how old are you..." in Mandarin. Besides that, you can also further explore a country and learn more about their culture, language, geography, currency, population, etc.
This game is a wonderful tool for the older child as well as adults. I didn't know how much I didn't know about our world until I played this and have honestly learned from this. We've played it for a few days, without yet meeting Carmen head-on and it has been different those times. It's not only a game but a learning tool where you don't realize you're learning.
And thanks to my daughter and I and everyone at the Acme Detective Agency, we have found the Sistine Chapel's ceiling and Golden Gate Bridge is safe and sound!