Rare North Dakota-themed Carmen Sandiego game has surfaced

You’re darn tootin’!

In the late ’80s the Carmen Sandiego series was immensely popular and over 20 states were looking to get in on that red hot edutainment action. Details are sketchy on exactly what happened, but Where in North Dakota is Carmen Sandiego was the only state-specific entry Brøderbund ever produced.

The game was developed in conjunction with the North Dakota Department of Education. It came with a full lesson plan, comprising of the double-sided Carmen Sandiego floppy, a North Dakota state almanac on floppy, a binder with info on the game, a printed version of the almanac, and a teacher’s guide. Another binder comprising 18 floppies and printed exercises completed the package. 

According to the in-game copyright date, it was released in 1989, the state’s centennial. Gameplay followed the same pattern as the others in the Carmen Sandiego series, albeit with a North Dakotan theme. Around 5,000 copies were produced exclusively for schools, but due to computer upgrades over the years, many of the Apple IIs and their floppies have been lost to landfills. 

Recently Where in North Dakota is Carmen Sandiego was located and preserved on Asimov’s Apple II FTP along with many other obscure edutainment titles. They’ve even got Math Blaster!

Where in North Dakota is Carmen Sandiego? Game Review [YouTube]

Jason Faulkner