The standard English-Slovene dictionary doesn't know the word edutainment. I guess that's because it's not a real word; it's a word I learned playing Sam 'n Max Hit the Road. It's supposed to mean education and entertainment at the same time. And if there was ever something to which this word really applied, it's the game series Where in ___ is Carmen Sandiego?.
There are quite a few games in the series, and our site already features the game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. This game, Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego? is out of this world. As the title suggests, you're travelling back and forth through our solar system, trying to arrest the bad guys, gals and none-of-the-aboves.
As in all games, you are told that some priceless thingamajig has been stolen, and that you must catch the guilty lifeform. You then go to the location of the crime and have different ways of collecting clues. This game offers you five ways, but the fifth option is limited (you can send out probes, but you only have two of those).
These clues give you information about the identity of the thief and tell you where to go next. You then have a few choices, and only one of them is correct. If you come to the right place you’ll see a V.I.L.E. henchman run across the screen - and in this game those are really hilarious: Imagine a single-celled lifeform dividing and both new cells being frightened at the sight of the other.
Every clue about the identity of the suspect should be fed into the computer (VAL9000), so you can find out who it is. Otherwise you can't get the arrest warrant, and even if you catch the perpetrator you won't be able to make a bust.
And how do you gather information? You can question witnesses, do the star search, tap in the V.I.L.E. frequency or contact an informant. The star search is the most original feature of this game. You get a clue about a part of the star map that you need to scan. You then precede to the star map, where you need to find this location and get the information you need. The last option is the probe. You can send two of these and each will bring you back an object that has been left floating around in space.
Once you reach the thief you're looking for, BEWARE! You will be in real danger of laughing until a little puddle forms under your chair. I found the 15T weight dropping on you in the weightlessness of space really humorous.
I simply love this game. It's not a fast action game, and you won't need to strain your brain too much (just enough to make it interesting). In return, you'll get lovely cartoonish graphics and tons of edutainment. Yes, you will learn a few things about space during the course of this game. The game also has nice speech and sound effects, but the sound is nothing special.
All in all, it's a game that deserves a 4. I can't really find any flaws in the game, except maybe that it's a children's learning game - but that’s not really a flaw, that's exactly what they wanted to make, and they succeeded.
Part of the Carmen Sandiego Series
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