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‘Carmen Sandiego’ Returns with First-Ever iOS App

Launch of new educational mobile game from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt marks 30th anniversary of the iconic criminal mastermind adored by millions of children and nostalgic adults alike.

NEW YORK -- Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt today announced the return of the iconic Carmen Sandiego brand with the first-ever app for iPad and iPhone. The launch of Carmen Sandiego Returns also marks the 30th anniversary of the mysterious character, adored by millions of children and nostalgic adults alike.

Featuring a glamorous web of high-tech spies, panoramic vistas and globe-spanning intrigue, Carmen Sandiego Returns is a game of strategy, which positions players as ACME agents on a mission to capture the elusive Carmen Sandiego and her V.I.L.E. henchmen. Rooted in exploration and learning, the game encourages children to use their knowledge of history, geography and world cultures to decipher clues and stay hot on Carmen’s trail, earning Carmen Coins along the way.

Designed for kids ages 9-11, Carmen Sandiego Returns is filled with fun educational facts, clues and mini- games to foster curiosity and problem-solving skills, as players explore locations from Rio de Janeiro to Singapore. Using iOS accelerometer functionality, players are able to maneuver their device to explore each city in 360˚ detail, while touch-technology enables players to hunt for clues by tapping their device. As they journey across the world, players will attempt to stop Carmen as she removes priceless jewels from the Taj Mahal, steals a cryogenic chamber in Berlin and many more villainous adventures.

Carmen Sandiego Returns preserves the core gameplay, style and characters of the original game, while giving the brand a modern twist for today’s digitally-savvy learners,” said CJ Kettler, Chief of Consumer Brands and Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “We are thrilled to celebrate the comeback of one of our most beloved characters and look forward to many more exciting developments for the brand over the coming months.”

Players earn Carmen Coins throughout the game, which can be spent on fast travel, mini-game boosts and challenge replays, as well as “XP” or experience points to elevate their ranking as an agent. Apple Game Center integration also allows players to track achievements on a leaderboard and compete against friends. With the initial download, the game contains several hours of short and long-form gameplay, featuring three exciting missions and four mini-game challenges. Additional packs featuring new cities, challenges and crimes are available for in-app purchase.

Carmen Sandiego is a world-renowned brand and winner of over 125 awards and accolades, first entering the market in 1985 with games for CD-ROM and PC download in classrooms and homes across the country. In the nineties, Carmen hit the small screen with the Emmy Award-winning TV show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” followed by “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?” and “Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?”

Carmen Sandiego Returns is available for download from the App Store for $1.99, with additional content packs available in-app for $1.99 each.

Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.