Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego

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a game by Brøderbund, and Konami
Genres: Strategy/War, Educational/Kids, Simulation
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES, NESNES
Editor Rating: 6.2/10, based on 8 reviews
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Wheel of Fortune Games, Strategy
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego

King Tut's tomb is missing! What is Egypt going to do? Luckily for President Murbarak, he has the best cadet at the Acme Detective Agency on the job -- YOU!

Time after Time

Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego by Electronic Arts turns your Genesis into a fun, educational time machine. Drawing from an endless bank of unsolved mysteries, you use your smarts to catch the notorious Carmen Sandiego and her 16 V.I.LE. Henchmen, who have stolen priceless (and obscure) historic artifacts, such as Napoleon's Hat and Paul Revere's horse.

As in the previous versions of Carmen for the NES and the PC, the game requires brains not brawn. You uncover each V.I.LE. Henchman's trail by correctly matching hidden clues on a given set of historical places and times. It's sort of a multiple choice video history quiz. All together you visit 48 countries and cover 1500 years. One tip: Travel armed with Carmen's New American Desk Encyclopedia (by Signet), which comes bundled with the cart. This game can stump even the highest of I.Qs.

Your rewards are newfound knowledge, passwords to continue the game, and bragging rights. You begin as a Cadet, but crack 80 cases and you'll be knighted Super Time Sleuth!

No Time to Say Good-bye/Hello

As you might suspect, time in this game is of the essence. You only have a few hours to ride your century-hopping Chronoskimmer and conduct your investigation. Travelling to the scene of the crime automatically costs you three hours. Once you arrive, you either question a witness, grill an informant, or search for physical evidence at the scene of the crime with the Scanner. You'll know you're in the right country if a V.I.LE. Henchman suddenly appears onscreen.

As the trail gets hot, you may think you have enough information to convict a suspect. Then, you hit the Data button, enter the Evidence you've gathered, and punch Compute. If you've sleuthed it down to only one suspect, a Warrant is automatically issued and the Capture Robot takes off after the time bandit. If your detective work is correct, you repair history; if not... you should'a done your homework!

ProTip: Be careful! Every source you tap bums two hours. Also, get your facts straight, or you may land in the wrong country. If you do, you'll have to travel back to the county you just left and try again -- an 8 hour trip.

Carmen's A Classic

Carmen Sandiego is a winner, even if you aren't a history buff. The graphics don't do much by video game standards, but what's there is elaborate and smooth. The sounds are good, even though they consist mainly of effects, such as a "crash" when your Choronoskimmer lands abruptly. Carmen Sandiego taxes your brain with tough trivia and good fun. The gameplay is intuitive. If you like, you can even display the game in five different European languages. After a few grueling hours with Carmen, no one will beat you at "Trivial Pursuit".

Download Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Game Reviews

When I saw the ad for "Time Patroller" in last Sunday's "Help Wanted" section, I really thought they were looking for something like a hall monitor. You know, the guy that makes sure everyone who's wandering around during class time has a pass? I was wrong.

So here I am, Time Patroller-in-training Weasel, at the Acme Detective Agency behind the wheel of the Chronoskimmer 325i, the finest time machine in the galaxy. This bad boy can cook back and forth through 1500 years of history and materialize in 42 different geographical locations!

The Federal Time Travel Commission has authorized me to use 34 hours of the Chronoskimmer's time to track down a heinous criminal, one of the 11 members of the sinister Villain's International League of Evil (V.I.L.E.). This guy ran off with the manuscript for the classic, "Huckleberry Finn", from the U.SA circa 1884.

If I want this job, I'd better bring this bum back within the alotted time -- or it's back to scanning the Want Ads.

It's in the Book

Acme's a professional agency, so they didn't send me off unprepared. Every Time Patroller trainee gets their own copy of the latest edition of the New American Desk Encyclopedia -- invaluable for referencing historical names and events. I'm sure experienced time sleuths wing it without the book, but being a rookie, I wasn't going to let it out of my sight!

The Land That Time Remembered

The best place to start an investigation is always the scene of the crime, so I was off to the 19th Century U.S. of A. (I didn't need the book to figure out that one. I may not have paid much attention in history, but I'm not TOTALLY stupid).

When I got there, I found no trace of the Huck Finn book, but there were a few bystanders milling about. I pulled aside a gardener working near the scene.

"You see anybody suspicious around here during the last couple hours..."


"Perhaps a guy..."


"...with a book?" I pressed a saw-buck into the gardener's grubby palm.

"What's this supposed to be?" he exclaimed, obviously confused by the modem twenty.

"It's money," I tried to explain.

"Not 'round these parts...but tell you what, you help me weed the Greenes' garden here, and I'll tell you what I know."

I grabbed the fellow by the collar and snarled in my best Sam Spade, "I don't have time to root around a friggin' garden with you -- I'm trying to catch a thief!"

The gardener broke down, "I saw your man -- he said he wanted to talk dollars and cents with Thomas Gresham!"

As the last syllable of Gresham's name left the gardener's lips, I was already in the Chronoskimmer. Thomas Gresham was Queen Elizabeth I's financial advisor. I was off to 16th Century England.

Time After Time

England 1533 A.D. As the Chronoskimmer rumbled to a halt, the stench of evil immediately assaulted my nose! A V.I.L.E. henchman (the scum that assists the time bandits) was near by.

Sure enough! The rogue slinked around a corner just as I closed the door of the Chronoskimmer. The trail was hot! An informant (the Acme Detective Agency has a network of informants in every time period -- I told you they were pro's) was on the scene with some helpful information.

"Your suspect loves the work of a famous Mexican muralist."

Checking my V.I.L.E. data file, I scanned their likes and dislikes: Vincent Van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Jose Orozco...one of these dudes is a Mexican muralist, and I think I know which one!

A witness also had some valuable info for me (and I didn't even have to force it out of him). According to this philosopher guy, the suspect planned to solve the mystery of the disappearing Mayas -- as in the Indian tribe that existed from in 300 -- 900 A.D. in parts of Mexico and Central America. Time to hit the Chronoskimmer!

The Land That Time Forgot

Another V.I.L.E. henchman ran off just as I arrived "south of the border" -- I must be getting close! My area informant confirmed my suspicions.

"Your suspect was here. He said he was going to stow away on Abel Tasman's ship. Oh yeah, and he had mousey brown hair."

I quickly consulted my data file's suspect dossiers. Let's see, "Rudy Lepay -- ex-Parisian cab driver. Brown hair (Check!) and gray eyes, brags about a big tip he received from a famous Mexican muralist (Double check!!). Lepay must be my man!

I entered the info into the crime computer and had a warrant issued for the arrest of one Rudy Lepay. I also activated the capture robot in case the fiend turned up here in Mexico.

According to the encyclopedia "Abel Tasman" discovered Tasmania and New Zealand while working for the Dutch East India Company in 1642. My next destination was clear -- 17th Century Holland!

To Catch A Thief

Only 15 hours left to use the Chronoskimmer -- better boogie! The ship's sensors are detecting the presence of ominous events here in 1642 Holland. Just as I consulted with my area informant, the computer sounded the alarm -- the villainous Rudy Lepay has been located!!!

I launched the capture robot and quickly had Lepay wrapped up and ready to ship UPS. Now I just had to make sure I had the right crook. The problem with time sleuthing is that the bandits have a lot of similarities -- that is, they're all scum, they like to steal famous landmarks and items of historical significance, etc. -- so you must always check back with headquarters to make sure you have the right crook. I did.

"Next time you want Huck Finn, Lepay", I crowed, "get a library card." As they say at Acme, this case is history. When I returned to headquarters, the Chief was waiting. I got the job.

I was moved... touched... hungry!!! Hmmm... I wonder where I should take my lunch break, 17th Century France for some Escargot, perhaps 500 A.D. China for some dim sum... the possibilities are endless.

Are you looking for the famous computer title Where in time is Carmen Sandiego? Well its here for the NES. With the same game play from the computer version, this will probably draw the attention of the computer players, who may also be Nintendo fans. A faithful translation from the computer, with its first person perspective and role playing type theme, this might be one to check out.

People say:


The whole Carmen series has proven to be a big hit on computers, but the slow pace of the game and need to refer to outside source material deflected any real fun I was having on the quest. This title does have an important educational slant, but it's not for shooter fans!


A very important game for the NES. While it isn't a real action game, it does have enough of the action overtones to keep the pace of play quick and the need for interaction with the reference materials constant. A great learning game that's also a lot of fun.


Obviously a cart that will only reach a specialized group of players. Personally this game is a bit too boring and non-eventful for me. The mystery of finding Carmen is involving enough to draw you in, but this one will definitely not be a repeat offender in my book.


This title is a blast from the computer world of stardom. On the Nintendo, it comes off very well, and offers a very interesting. and sometimes educational, quest for all players. The music isn't the best, and neither are the soundtracks, but the game play is easy to follow and fun.

Carmen Sandiego has pulled off some of the biggest crimes of the Century! As a member of the Acme Detective Agency, you most track this notorious criminal to her hideout and arrest her. Carmen Sandiego is an educational game with humorous sidelines. You use the chronoskimmer to travel anywhere in time to question people and explore the towns. Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? You find out!

People say:


The fact that the Carmen games are educational as well as fun to play is a nice plus. While the game is a bit slow and never really manages to get the blood boiling, the idea behind it, as well as the manner in which the game play is presented are nice. Carmen may lack big guns, but it is a leisurely play.


Edutainment. This game offer the perfect blend of fun and education. If you have a family, or younger children, you will definitely want this cart as it will subconsciously teach you history and geography while you track down cute criminals. Not for players whose only goal in life is to save the planet.


This cart will appeal to a very small group of players. The graphics are not very intense and the music is repetitive and gets annoying after long play times. The game play however is very interesting, with plenty of history and geography thrown in. You may actually learn something! Not my type of game, but not bad.


Here is an excellent game for kids, since not only does it pose an interesting quest, it promotes learning and research as well. As a stand-alone game Carmen really packs the power with special handbooks and materials included with the cartridge. All parents will like this game, too, as it appeals to all ages.

The popular computer game is coming to the NES. Besides being fun tracking down the criminals, the game is also educational. Learn history and geography while you play.

It was bound to happen! The most popular "educational" computer game of all time has found its way to the Genesis and learning will never be the same again. Travel across time and space to track down Carmen and her gang of notorious "history" thieves and retrieve the priceless historical relics they've stolen. You'll cruise to dozens of locations in your chic Chronoskimmer 320i -- the top of the line in time travelling vehicles. You've got a limited amount of time to track the crooks, so don't admire the fine leather interior too long!

Crazy Carmen San Diego and her merry band of petty time bandits are century hopping through 1500 years of history, looting valuable period pieces as they go. In this exciting, not to mention historically educational game, your job is to trail Carmen and her cohorts and put a stop to their pilfering madness. Before you tackle the more than eighty missions, you must first uncover relevant historical clues and question witnesses. You also get a handy hardcover desktop encyclopedia to help you in your investigation. Carmen and company make history lessons great fun!

This single-player game was developed and published by Brøderbund Software in 1989. Konami released a port of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego in 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Hi Tech Expressions would later do a port for the Super NES and also Electronic Arts would do one for the Sega Genesis.

The genre of the game is educational/science fiction/strategy. This video game is of multiplatform version, where the players travel through time to find the clue and also warrant, that are necessary to catch Carmen Sandiego, or one of a henchman of hers.

The objective of the game is to follow Carmen's villains throughout history, and capture them. Or arrest Carmen. Like in the original game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, the player has to use the given clues on where the villain went. Or crook’s physical attributes, interests to secure a warrant for arrest.

There was a game show, loosely based on this game, which was broadcast on PBS.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots