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Platform: Android version: 2.2
Carmen is reminiscent of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. In fact, playing it will bring up nostalgic memories of the original. For those unfamiliar with the original, Carmen is a game where we play as a gumshoe rank detective at an agency that is following a dangerous fugitive of Interpol called Carmen and our goal is to track her and her gang to retrieve the artifacts that they have stolen and return them to their rightful owners. This tribute offers seventeen suspects and six attributes (sex, hair color, food, music, hobby, and sport). The suspect names are rather witty, for example, Polly Esther Fabrique. It also promises over eighty missions.
The game has less than average graphics. Perhaps it was done to emphasize its reminiscence of the 80s and 90s. It also lacks some of the detailed features that the PC version has from backtracking. Once you followed the clues to the wrong location, it was an instant defeat and another case is offered to you. However, it still keeps the nifty rankings starting with Gumshoe and it increases the challenge by adding the amount of cases completed to get a promotion.
Another nice part of the game is the locations to investigate. The clues of the original was the primary educational factor while adding in logic and general knowledge. In Carmen, the locations include museum, library, airport, hotel and bank. The clues from the locations teach the players of flags, currencies, significant places and capitals of countries available. Also, there are info cards of the countries that we can travel to, giving us a foundation as to some places which could help us in another case. However, the clues do get a little easy as time goes on and they become repetitive and limited because of the limited variety of countries. However, there is to date six extra country packs available and each pack adds five more countries to the game offered at $1 USD per country pack.
Essentially, Carmen has short cases and is a quick nostalgic dose of fun. Although not as detailed and lacks some of the great features of the original, it does still provide educational entertainment. It might lose a bit of its magic as the countries don’t change and the clues become repetitive. However, it is a good start. If there were further updates, Carmen could be comparable to the original. Although the chances may be slim since the last update was almost two years ago, even if there shows two possible upcoming country packs.
If you were a fan of the original and have an Android, despite its slight imperfections, this one is still worth a try!