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Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Case of the Crumbling Cathedral Review

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On 01/22/2012 at 09:08 PM by Nick DiMola

And I thought the other games in the series were short!

This episode is too short to be a recommended purchase.

After the abduction of the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben, as well as the subsequent arrests of two V.I.L.E. criminals, you'd think the V.I.L.E. crew would lay low for a while. Instead, they've gotten more ambitious than ever, stealing the St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow as well as the pyramids straight out of Egypt. With the most linear quest yet, The Case of the Crumbling Cathedral is the shortest of the three episodes currently available on the Wii Shop Channel. While it's home to the best puzzles yet, it's over so quickly that it's hard to pay it any respect at all.

Once again, players will be talking to a variety of characters, now across Moscow, Cairo, and Dallas. These conversations will lead players down a fairly linear road wherein they'll solve an assortment of puzzles that align more with traditional brain teasers than the math-heavy puzzles of the last game. The same ten puzzle formula is repeated, and once again, two of the included puzzles have already been featured in the other episodes. Considering the last episode did the same thing, at this point it's unacceptable.

The full out removal of fetch quests and the puzzle quality makes it very easy and more enjoyable to progress through the quest. Unfortunately, my experience only lasted a mere 30 minutes. Regardless of the cheap price tag and puzzle quality, a 30 minute game is a 30 minute game. Adding more puzzles was the only change the developers needed to make in order to continually generate interest in the episodic release and it's the one change they didn't make.

With this third episode it becomes even clearer that Carmen Sandiego's adventure in math should've been released as one retail title that featured more polished gameplay and a greater selection of puzzles. If you've already picked up either of the first two episodes, The Case of the Crumbling Cathedral is not for you.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



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