Carmen Sandiego was the queen of “Edutainment” titles in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The original “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” spawned numerous sequels and remakes. “Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?” was the first Carmen Sandiego sequel. Like many of the other Carmen titles, “Where in the USA?” would see various enchantments and remakes across different computer platforms.
This version is the original 1986 release for DOS computers. Since it was released in the early days of PC gaming, it only supports CGA graphics and internal PC speaker sound effects. In addition to the plain 4 color CGA graphics, this game supports 16 color CGA composite mode. See below for information on how to run the game in composite mode in DOSBOX.
Even though the Carmen Sandiego games would later migrate to CD ROM editions with fancy voiceovers and VGA graphics – the basic game play formula remained the same. Carmen Sandiego and her gang of V. I. L. E. henchmen are stealing famous treasures and it’s up to the player as a detective working for the ACME detective agency to track them down. The player will be assigned a case by the chief of ACME and will be given a certain amount of time in which to solve the case. You’ll need to follow a trail of locations that the thief has visited by using geographical clues provided by questioning people. Going to wrong locations will cost valuable time in back tracking, so cracking the geographical clues is vital to your success.
Along the way, you’ll also need to gather clues about the suspect in order to obtain an arrest warrant. If you can find the thief’s hideout and have also obtained a proper arrest warrant within the time frame assigned by the chief, then you’ll successfully solve the case. Failure to do so will result in you losing the case. If you solve enough cases, you’ll receive promotions and eventually get a chance at catching Carmen herself, and receiving a (hopefully) lofty retirement from the Acme Detective Agency (at least until the next sequel!)
This game originally shipped with a copy of Fodor’s USA Travel Guide as a reference book to help with the geographical clues. You can use any good reference book as a substitute - encyclopedias work well – to look up information. Of course nowadays there’s Google and internet resources that can help you catch the crooks in record time!
If like me, you’re a fan of the Carmen Sandiego series, then you’ll enjoy playing this and experiencing the early roots of the series.
Start the game with carmen.exe
This game supports 16 color CGA composite mode. In order to emulate composite mode in DOSBOX, you will need to set machine type to CGA in your DOSBOX configuration file. When you start DOSBOX, press Alt-F11 to switch to composite mode. (Or press F12 on newer versions of DOSBOX)
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