Carmen Sandiego is a series of educational, detective-based games released onto multiple consoles including the SNES.
The player acts as a "gumshoe" for the ACME Detective Agency, and attempts to solve crimes committed by former ACME agent Carmen Sandiego. In the most popular games, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?, Carmen has stolen important buildings, landmarks, or artifacts from various locations (how she is able to carry them is left unknown, and can only be assumed to either be comedic license or use of hammerspace). Carmen does not always steal them herself, often hiring henchmen to do the job. Oftentimes, these comedic-themed henchmen are the villains bagged after each case.
Over time, clues as to Carmen's biggest crime and whereabouts are given in each location. Once the player finds Carmen, the chase begins. Unfortunately, as is always the case, Carmen escapes to continue her notorious life of crime.
The games were so popular and so numerous that two game shows were created, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, the latter being historically themed. A cartoon entitled Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego was also created, and won an Emmy. The game shows were partially hosted by The Chief, played by the late Lynne Thigpen.
The game shows spawned remakes of the main original games as well as a new game based on Where in Time, but in a different format than the other games. Instead of an investigative travel and collect information game, this new game was more of a point-and-click, puzzle-solving game using (albeit very watered down and cartoony) historical locations and figureheads.
The remakes were based more on the game shows, with the Chief giving every assignment instead of a random cartoon police chief.