For a few generations, kids have asked and answered the question "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" Now, Google is opening the case of the educational thief back up for a whole new crop of gumshoes with a new game that can be played on Google Earth.
As Google announced on its official blog, the tech giant has released The Crown Jewels Caper, the first in a series of new games that will see players try to capture Carmen through the power of geographic trivia. Players will use Google Earth to take up assignments, follow clues and track down Carmen, wherever in the world she may be hiding.
The game is developed by Google in conjunction with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publishing house and birthplace of the fictional master criminal, Carmen. As Program Manager for Google Earth, Vanessa Schneider writes, "our game is an homage to the original. It’s for all those gumshoes who grew up with the chase, and for the next generation feeling that geography itch for the first time."
Carmen Sandiego is an indelible pop culture institution that began with the PC game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? That original title spawned dozens of educational spinoff titles and a few TV shows.
Two educational game shows based on Carmen Sandiego aired on PBS in the 1990s, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego, both of which featured actress Lynne Thigpen as t the Chief of ACME, the bureau trying to catch Carmen. The first series also had a notoriously catchy theme song by the acapella group Rockapella. A Saturday morning cartoon show, Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? debuted in 1994 and aired sporadically for several seasons.
While a live-action movie is currently in development at Netflix, the character's new Netflix series, simply titled Carmen Sandiego, was recently renewed for a second season.
Starring Gina Rodriguez and Finn Wolfhard, Season 1 of Carmen Sandiego is available to stream on Netflix now.