Where in Space Is Carmen Sandiego? follows the same basic format as the earlier Carmen games, except now you chase V.I.L.E. villains across the nine planets and various moons of The Solar System. This time, Carmen's crooks are all aliens, so the warrants now ask you to specify the suspect's number of eyes and other such details.
While earlier Carmen products simply packaged a physical atlas or encyclopedia with the game for you to use as reference, this one has an in-game database, and chances are you're going to need it. No matter how much of an astronomy geek you are, you probably haven't memorized the names of all the craters on Enceladus. Subsequent Carmen games would retain the concept of having an in-game database.
Space was the last MS-DOS game in the Carmen Sandiego franchise. Starting with Carmen Sandiego: Junior Detective Edition, the series transitioned to CD-ROMs.
This game provides examples of:
- Extra Eyes: Suspects can have zero, one, two, or many eyes.
- Impossible Theft: As usual. Thefts include the sunspots from The Sun and the belt buckle from the Asteroid Belt.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Averted. Witnesses use "it" when referring to androgynous suspects, and it's apparently not considered derogatory in-universe. It does, however, create confusing sentences on occasion.
- No Biological Sex: Suspects can be androgynous in addition to male and female.
- Planetville: Just knowing that the crook went to, say, Jupiter is enough to get you to another location with more clues. But screw you if you had the gall to go to Phobos when the game was directing you to Deimos.
- Punny Name: Just for fun, have a gander at the following baddie names: Bea Miupscotti, Avery Littlebit Phelps, Morton U. Bargandfore, Kit Incaboodle, Astro Fizzix, and Hanover Fist.
- Recycled INSPACE: Naturally. Thankfully, this game is a positive example of the trope because it was one of the best in the series.
- To Star Trek:
- Time is measured with "star dates".
- The Chief sometimes tells you, "Prepare to depart to where no Acme detective has gone before."
- One of the crooks is named Bea Miupscotti.
- To 2001: A Space Odyssey:
- "Jailhouse Rock" is a reference to the Elvis Presley song. In addition, it's referred to as "the Rock" for short, referencing the nickname for Alcatraz.
- To Star Trek:
- Token Human: Carmen herself. The Chief, the witnesses, and the crooks are all wacky aliens in this version.