Carmen Sandiego is going back to her roots.
Before she was the star of a Netflix series and a ’90s game show with a rockin’ a cappella theme song, the slippery thief was a video game pioneer. Those classic PC games are the inspiration for a new Carmen story that plays out inside Google Earth.
“The Crown Jewels Caper” is a brief but completely endearing throwback in which you talk to locals and use the clues they drop to find Carmen’s next location on the map. And because all of this plays out in the Google Earth app, you have a camera zooming around to show you the sights.
The story ties directly to the characters and art style of the Netflix series, though the small handful of cutscenes have more of a pixelated Ye Olde Video Game look. The whole thing doesn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes to play through, though Google’s announcement promises “other capers in the near future.”
Just to help you better set your expectations: This is a cool, little story but it’s not the kind of game you’ll play again and again. Where the original Carmen games mixed things up every time with random locations to visit and clues to unravel, The Crown Jewels Caper is a scripted story.
It’s still an enjoyable blast of nostalgia and will cost you nothing, so it’s worth checking out. You can try it right here on Android, Chrome, and iOS.