Google Earth launches The Crown Jewels Caper mini-game honoring Carmen Sandiego that allows players the exciting opportunity to put on their super-sleuthing gear and answer an all-too-important question: Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? The original game, Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?, made its debut in 1985 and quickly spawned a massive franchise. Over time, it evolved into an animated series, a game show, books, and comics.
The brand made a resurgence in 2017 after Netflix made the announcement that they'd be bringing back Ms. Sandiego in a brand new animated series and live-action film. Jane the Virgin star, Gina Rodriguez, is set to voice and lead each project while also producing the latter through her I Can and I Will production company alongside Kevin Misher and Caroline Fraser. The Netflix series starts off as an origin story for Sandiego, later expanding into her various crusades across the globe to steal back precious artifacts from the villainous international group V.I.L.E. The reboot evolved her character into more of a Robin Hood figure, branching away from her villainous past. The show has already been renewed for a second season on Netflix and shows no signs of slowing down. But for fans wanting more Carmen Sandiego, the Google game is now available.
Google collaborated with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the owners of the Carmen Sandiego brand, for the announcement as a tribute to the games from the '80s and '90s. Vanessa Schneider, program manager of Google Earth, stated in a blog post, "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." Much like the original game, the screen will be split between Google Earth and a retro interface that will showcase dialogue, locations, and clues for you to discover. You can find the game on Android, IOS, and Chrome by clicking on the Pegman icon. After doing so, you'll receive your first assignment from A.C.M.E, where players will be given a destination to jet off to and begin.
The game is the first of many that are set for release on Google's platform to help promote the Carmen Sandiego Netflix series, with two more being released in May and June. It's reminiscent of the wildly successful video game franchise that required players to search for clues by visiting various locations and asking around the locals to figure out Carmen's next location. Like the Netflix series, it has an educational bent, teaching viewers/players about various regions on Earth.
Season 1 of Carmen Sandiego premiered on Netflix in January, but it's unclear when season 2 will debut. In the meantime, Google Earth is more than happy to keep us invested in Carmen's many mysteries while we wait for the new season to arrive. The game not only serves as an excellent promotional tool but as a fantastic way to explore the world and thrive in the nostalgia of classic video games.