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Carmen Sandiego Returns: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches Character’s First-Ever iOS App

NEW YORK, NY — Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the return of the iconic Carmen Sandiego brand, with the first-ever app for iPad® and iPhone®. The launch of Carmen Sandiego Returns also marks the 30th anniversary of the mysterious character, adored by millions of children and nostalgic adults alike.

Featuring a glamorous web of high-tech spies, panoramic vistas and globe-spanning intrigue, Carmen Sandiego Returns is a game of strategy, which positions players as ACME agents on a mission to capture the elusive Carmen Sandiego and her V.I.L.E. henchmen. Rooted in exploration and learning, the game encourages children to use their knowledge of history, geography and world cultures to decipher clues and stay hot on Carmen’s trail, earning Carmen Coins along the way.

Designed for kids ages 9-11, Carmen Sandiego Returns is filled with fun educational facts, clues and mini-games to foster curiosity and problem-solving skills, as players explore locations from Rio de Janeiro to Singapore. Using iOS accelerometer functionality, players are able to maneuver their device to explore each city in 360˚ detail, while touch-technology enables players to hunt for clues by tapping their device. As they journey across the world, players will attempt to stop Carmen as she removes priceless jewels from the Taj Mahal, steals a cryogenic chamber in Berlin and many more villainous adventures.

Carmen Sandiego Returns

Carmen Sandiego Returns preserves the core gameplay, style and characters of the original game, while giving the brand a modern twist for today’s digitally-savvy learners,” said CJ Kettler, Chief of Consumer Brands and Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “We are thrilled to celebrate the comeback of one of our most beloved characters and look forward to many more exciting developments for the brand over the coming months.”

Players earn Carmen Coins throughout the game, which can be spent on fast travel, mini-game boosts and challenge replays, as well as “XP” or experience points to elevate their ranking as an agent. Apple Game Center integration also allows players to track achievements on a leaderboard and compete against friends. With the initial download, the game contains several hours of short and long-form gameplay, featuring three exciting missions and four mini-game challenges. Additional packs featuring new cities, challenges and crimes are available for in-app purchase.

Carmen Sandiego is a world-renowned brand and winner of over 125 awards and accolades, first entering the market in 1985 with games for CD-ROM and PC download in classrooms and homes across the country. In the nineties, Carmen hit the small screen with the Emmy Award-winning TV show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”, followed by “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?” and “Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?”.

Carmen Sandiego Returns is available for download from the App Store℠ for $1.99, with additional content packs available in-app for $1.99 each.

For the latest news on the app and forthcoming products, follow Carmen Sandiego on Twitter and Facebook.


Emma Doherty
Director, Corporate Communications
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom.  HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children’s books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.

Follow HMH on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

IPhone and IPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. IOS is a registered trademark of Cisco Technology, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. Carmen Sandiego is a trademark of HMH IP Company. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt™ is a trademark of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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