Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (1985)


Genre Period Developer Publisher Theme
Educational, Adventure Vintage


Broderbund Broderbund Detective, Chase criminal, International travel

WIWICS is an educational game for children. Gameplay is simple. You assume the role of a detective and follow clues to determine which city criminals has fled to. Keep doing this for a few rounds before finally catching up with him or her. By that time you must have narrowed down your suspect list to one and have obtained an arrest warrant from Interpol. Now spot the criminal and affect an arrest. If you do not manage to track the thief down within a limited number of days, you lose the case. Same happens if you fail to narrow down your suspect list and obtain arrest warrant for the right suspect whom you are chasing. The primary challenge is to recognize which country/city the criminal has fled to from the clues you get. You should get it if you want your children to expand their general knowledge.

Game Assessment

Complexity Matrix 

Complexity Parameters Values (0, 0.5, 1)
Control Scheme 0: Simple
Complexity 0: Simplistic
Story 0.5: Chain of missions like a campaign
Lore 1: Real world geography and culture
Immersion 0.5: Although very primitive, it does give you a sense of immersion
Difficulty 0: Easy
Learning Curve 0: Easy
Total Score 2/7: Lightweight game 

Satisfaction Matrix

Needs Satisfaction Score (0-3)
Analytical 2: Moderately met
Creative 0: Not met
Mastery 1: Slightly met
Destructive 0: Not met
Entertainment 0: Not met
Pace 0: Not met
Horror 0: Not met
Total Score 3/21: Bad Game (It is educational afterall!)

Game Review

TL;DR It is a nice little time-pass for adults. For children it is a really good game to learn about geography and different cultures of the world, and also about processing information. It is a good educational game for children, however being from 1985 it is doubtful if chidren will be able to derive any fun out of this.


  • Expands general knowledge


  • Repetitive and grindy

Game completed.

Purpose – Relaxation

Gameplay – A bit repetitive but okay.

Graphics – Ancient vector graphics.

Performance – Peanut.

Entertainment – Nada.

Plot (if applicable) – Finish case after case to get promoted to Ace Detective and then finally catch Carmen Sandiego.

Replay value – None.

Immersion – Kind of immersive, especially for a child. You can imagine yourself a detective.

Overall it is a good educational game.