Carmen Sandiego

The basic game is designed to be played with approximately 100 villagers.

The villagers are in 10 groups, and each group of villagers is looking for one of the

10 criminals. There are 10 countries (stations), but each group will visit no more

than six. The game begins with an opening skit

The skit introduces the various characters, explains the game to the villagers, and puts them into their groups. Villagers should be assigned to groups before the start of the game. We suggest using regular Abendprogramm groups. Each group begins with an envelope. The envelope contains a map of Waldsee showing the stations, a map of the world showing the countries in the game, an instruction sheet, and the first clue (see GROUP ENVELOPES). The clues and the instruction sheet are written in German. Older villagers can play the game unaccompanied, but younger villagers will need group leaders to read the German, keep them motivated, and keep them from getting frustrated. Once the game has started, the group reads its first clue and guesses which country that clue describes. When they find the country they think is right,

they ask, "Sind wir in diesem Land?" or another appropriate question. If they have guessed incorrectly, they are sent on immediately. If they have guessed correctly, they spend 5 minutes learning about that country. The station leader then gives them two more clues. One of these clues will tell them where to go next. The other one gives them a piece of information about their criminal. There are five clues about each criminal, and a wanted poster with a description of the criminal. The descriptions and clues for the ten criminals are organized so that each clue narrows the possibilities until the fifth one makes it obvious. Once the group has correctly guessed its criminal, it may receive its arrest warrant and its final clue. A group may make a guess at any time.

When a group thinks it knows which criminal it is looking for, it goes to the ZentralbOro for an arrest warrant (Haftbefehl). Once a group has an arrest warrant, it can receive its final clue from Lindsay Penn. When a group finds its final station, it shows the warrant and receives notification of the capture of the criminal. The game ends when several groups have been successful at capturing their criminal. We had the villagers reassemble where we started. As soon as a group had caught its criminal, it could sit down. After several groups have been successful, ring the bell and bring everyone back together for the closing skit.

The game uses about an hour and a half from beginning to end.

15-20 min. Opening skit, explanation.

30-60 min. The Chase to catch the criminals.

10-15 min. Closing and capture of Karmen Sandiego.

Control factor

To control the speed of the game so that several groups can besuccessful within about five minutes of each other, groups must report to headquarters after two clues about their criminal. Two staff members serve as customs officials, border guards, or similar characters and give delays it a group is moving too fast--canceled flight, lost luggage, customs duties,

passport check, etc. They may ask the Villagers to count, sing a song, do something silly, anything that asks them to use German.


Time: 15-20 min.


Lindsay Penn: the Chief.

"Ace": head of detective training at Acme Detective Agency

Karmen Sandiego: the infamous criminal

Officials (x2):(time delays)


Lindsay Penn - anything official looking, maybe a hat, tie, and jacket.

Ace Detective - hat, tie, jacket - he/she should look like a detective.

Detective - same as Ace.

Officials (time delay) - very official looking - staff jackets and police hats for


Karmen Sandiego - she wears a trench coat, sunglasses, and a secret

agent type hat.

EVERYONE meets together for the start of the game, including station leaders and staff members who aren't playing_ We started with the opening song from the television show, with German words of course. It is acapella for male voices in four part harmony. If no one knows the song well enough to put something together. or if you don't have the singers to perform it, be creative and invent something else. During the song, Karmen Sandiego should sneak through the audience, running off at the end. Lindsay Penn receives notification that Karmen and her band have struck again--maybe they stole something

Wald~eeish. Lindsay calls Ace and asks to have a top detective assigned immediately. Unfortunately all the regular agents are already out on assignment. At this point Ace asks the audience to help.

1) The villagers will be divided into 10 groups, each group looking for a different criminal. They will have to decipher clues to track the criminal around the world. As soon as they know who they are looking for. they can make a guess and

receive a warrant.

2) Wanted posters are located at the Zentralburo (headquarters). Groups must repOit bacl( after two clues about the criminal and check in.

3) There are always delays involved in international travel (point out the staff members dressed as officials).

4) The groups must remain together. If they have questions or need help, they should visit Lindsay Penn at headquarters.

5) The bell will ring to start and end the search (Be sure to tell them where to meet at the end of the game). Divide the villagers into their groups and distribute the envelopes. When playing the game with younger villagers who will have group leaders, it isn't necessary for Ace to describe the game in as much detail, but older villagers playing by themselves should get a good explanation. Once the villagers are in groups, the station leaders can go to their stations. Give everyone about 3 min. and then ring the bell.


Country (Station) Envelopes include:

1) Copy of the clue for your country (so you know when groups are right)

2) Coior~codedclues to give to groups. Five groups may correctly stay at each station, plus one group with a warrant and final clue. This means there will be dead time when no groups are at your station. Be prepared. About the clues: For four of the groups there are two clues--one about another station, and one about a criminal. For one of the groups, this will be their

fifth station, and they will only receive one c1ue--one about their criminal. 3) One notification of capture of a criminal. This has a picture and description of the criminal on it, and the name of the proper group on the back. If the right group comes with a warrant and final clue, they receive this notification and may go.

4) A copy of these instructions


When a group comes to you, they will read a clue and ask. "Sind wir in diesem Land?' If the clue they read matches the clue for you station, say "Ja!" and keep them. If they read the wrong clue, one for a different country, say "Nein!" and send them on.

Once you have established that a group belongs with you, you have five minutes to teach that group something about your country. This should be done in an active manner. You may teach them a few words in the language if you know it Basic geographical, political, and cultural information is appropriate, but don't just recite facts. You may ask questions at the end to sec if they have paid attention. The presentation should be 60-40 German to English, higher in German1 if you know the group is more advanced. Once you are done with the presentation/activity, give the group their clues and let them go. If a group comes to you with a warrant, check to see if that group's name is on your arrest notification. If it is, give them the notification. If it isn't, send them back to the Zentralbuero. Something got mixed up.

Clues are color coded and the clues you give each group should match the color of their previous clues. Their color should also be written on their envelope. If there is a question about clues, e.g., a possible mix up, send the group to the

Zentralbuero immediately 10 straighten things out. DO NOT give them a different group's clue.



1) map of the world with the ten countries marked on it

2) map ofWaldsee with the locations of the stations (by country name) marked.

3) instruction sheet (see below)

4) first clue

5) color of clues marked on the envelope


Willkommen in Acme Krimenetz

Ihr habt:

1) Eine Landkarte von Waldsee, worauf die Stationen sind.

2) Eine Weltlandkarte

3) Der erste Hinweis, der euch zum ersten Land schicken soll.

Die Regeln sind:

1) Ihr muesst immer zusammen bleiben.

2) Nach zwei Hinweise ueber euere Verbrecher, sollt ihr zum Zentralbuero gehern und zeigenrwelche Lander ihr besucht habt.

3) Wenn ihr wisst wer der Verbrecher ist, geht zum Zentralbuero. Da bekommt ihr einen Haftbefehl. Dann bekommt ihr den letzten Hinweis von Lindsay Penn.

4)Hinweise in der richtigen Reihnfolge (1.2.3....) Falls ihr Hilfe braucht. Lindsay Penn kann euch helfen! Viel Glueck und Erfolg!!


Once the bell has rung and everyone has gathered back together, Lindsay Penn, Ace, and the other characters can do a wrap up of what happened. Ask which groups caught their criminal, and ask those that didn't finish how close they got. Depending on whether or not you need to stretch or crunch time, you might also read several clues and ask the audience for answers. While all of this is going on, have Karmen Sandiego sneak around, in sight of the villagers but, ostensibly,out of sight of the staff leading the program. Eventually even they will see her. Have the officials (border guards, etc.) catch Karmen (watch out for unwanted audience participation from the little ones). Karmen can be unmasked and you discover that it was really a Betreuerin, and the real Karmen is still on the loose. Finish with a couple of songs.


Logistically. this is basically like any station game. However, there are some logistical problems unique to this game.


Locate the stations on a map of Waldsee. Be sure that one or two aren't scattered too far from the rest. Also pick a place for the ZentralbOro. This should be where the beginning skit takes place.


The clues are the most important part of this game, but they have the potential to be the most complicated and confusing. The clues control which stations a group will visit and in which order.

1) Randomly decide which 5 stations a group will visit, and which 6th station it will visit to catch its criminal. For example: Gruppe Hase


2. den USA

3. Argentinien

4. Nicaragua

5. Polen

6. Israel

Do this for each of the 10 groups, making sure that each station gets 5 regular visitors and one group looking for a notification of arrest.

2) Decide which criminal each group is looking for: Gruppe Hase - Riesiger


3) Pick a color for each group. It works best to use 10 colors of copier

paper, one for each group, and to use white for everything else (everything but the

clues). If you don't have ten colors, use a combination of colors and dots or

stripes. Be sure to make the color coding obvious or everyone will get confused

and it will be one big headache! Write each group's color on the outside of its

envelope: Gruppe Hase - Gelb

4) Copy each group's criminal clues on that group's color paper (5 clues).

5) Find which country clues each group needs (6 clues), and copy them on

that group's color paper. This is a real cut and paste job, especially doing it

without wasting paper.

6) Number the country clues and cut them apart. Write the group's name

on the back of clue number 6. Cut the criminal clues apart also.

7) Make the notifications of arrest. Copy the top half of the wanted posters,

and draw bars across the pictures. Make them on white paper, and write the

name of the group on the back of its arrest notice, or copy them on the correct

colors of paper.

8) Write the name of each group on an envelope. Also write the name of

each country on an envelope. Now comes the tricky part.

9) Work with one group at a time. Take the country clue and place it in the group's envelope. Take country clueand criminal clueand place them inthe envelope of the first station that group will visit.

For Gruppe Hase, that would be:

Indien. Country clue and criminal clue go in the second station,

den USA. Country clue and criminal clue go in the third station,

Argentinien.Country clue and criminal clue go in the fourth station,

Nicaragua. Criminal clue goes by itself into the fifth station,

Polen. Country cluegoes to Lindsay Penn, and the notification of arrest goes in the envelope of the

sixth station,

Israel. If it is at all possible, double check to see that each station has the right clues. It is also helpful to give each station (country) a list of the groups whose clues it has.

10) Consult GROUP ENVELOPES 10 sec what else should go in each groups envelope. and STATION LEADER INSTRUCTIONS to sec what else should go in each country envelope. Be sure that everything but the clues is copied on white paper.

Ace Detective and the other Detective should have master lists with them of which stations each group is to visit and which criminal each group is looking for. They need these to straighten out any problems which might arise and to determine if a group has guessed correctly when it asks for its arrest warrant. Station leaders should receive information about their country. The best information would come from someone who as visited, lived in, or studied that country. Ideally, several sheets of information would be included in this file about each country, but there hasn't been time to do that yet. Do the best you can with the resources you have and be creative.