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Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Great Gateway Grab Review

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On 02/11/2012 at 11:21 PM by Nick DiMola

When five of ten puzzles are borrowed from past episodes, we have a problem.

Not Recommended.

After playing through the past three Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math games, I’ve built up a memory bank full of the puzzles that have been featured in each one. It’s pretty easy, as each game only contains ten puzzles and each feature repeat puzzles from prior installments. The Great Gateway Grab stays true to the series’ roots, as it has a total of three repeat puzzles with two that are extremely similar, though not identical, to past puzzles. When half of the puzzles in the game are repeats, it becomes very hard to suggest anyone buy it if they’ve been following along with the series.

This latest adventure plays out similarly to all of the other episodes. A V.I.L.E. criminal has snagged another national treasure, this time The Gateway of India in Mumbai. Players are tasked with getting to the bottom of the story by talking to locals and jet-setting across the globe. Players can scan the environment to find hint coins and hidden clues, which can be used for assistance during the puzzles. Those familiar with the Professor Layton series will feel right at home with these Adventures in Math.

As with other past adventures, The Great Gateway Grab is short, though not quite as short as the last episode, The Case of the Crumbling Cathedral. Clocking in at about an hour, most of your time will be spent talking to each character numerous times to extract the necessary clues and puzzles in order to issue a warrant for the arrest of the proper criminal.

Because the entire quest and puzzles are static, there’s little to no room for replay value, making The Great Gateway Grab a tough sell. Once again, these episodes would’ve been better served on a single disc with a plethora of puzzles that were varied on each playthrough. With such heavy borrowing from past episodes, The Great Gateway Grab is the most derivative title in the series yet. Unless your third or fourth grader is dying for more Carmen Sandiego, you’re probably better off skipping this entry.

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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