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It’s time to resume the hunt for Carmen Sandiego and her V.I.L.E. (Villains’ International League of Evil) henchmen.

Carmen Sandiego Returns launches today on iPad and iPhone. It’s the first iOS release for the much-loved educational gaming series that started 30 years ago — one so popular that it spawned a Peabody-award-winning TV program on PBS and a slew of video and tabletop games. Designed for kids ages 9-11, the game gets players to use their knowledge of history, geography, and world culture to help track the elusive villain across the globe.

The kids mobile gaming market is serious business, worth $1.9 billion worldwide, according to market intelligence firm SuperData — that’s nearly 8 percent of the $30 billion mobile games market. And publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hopes that this update to the long-running series will resonate with today’s mobile-savvy kids as much as it does with nostalgic adults.

Carmen Sandiego Returns brings the series up to date for mobile devices, adding accelerometer functionality to help players explore different cities and utilizing the touch pad to help hunt for clues. Players will travel the world and attempt to stop Carmen Sandiego as she steals from locations like Berlin and the Taj Mahal.


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Carmen Sandiego Returns is available to download from the Apple App Store for $2 and includes the base game features, three missions, and four mini-game challenges, which should apparently take several hours to complete. Additional content packs are also available to purchase, each containing new cities, challenges, and crimes to solve.


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