Escape the Mailbox – A Peculiar Potion [Hivemind Review]

Escape the Mailbox is a free light puzzle hunt, sent once a month to your email. A Peculiar Potion was the current game when we played. Escape the Mailbox is created by Access Escape in London, England.

Gmail in-browswer.


Style of Play: very light puzzle hunt played exclusively over email

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection or a mobile device

You could play on either mobile or a laptop/ deskop because all you need is email.

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: A Peculiar Potion takes about 10-20 minutes

Price: free

Booking: When you sign up for the game on the website, you receive a kickoff email. Replying “start” to this email gets you a new email with your first puzzle.


This is a short puzzle-by-email game with interaction entirely via email. It is very short, with only four puzzles.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

An interesting concept: a game with almost real-time response level via email. Since this game is a bit of a teaser for the escape room and is free, it was a reasonable quick play with some entertainment value and therefore worthy of play in the current environment. It was really easy and experienced puzzlers may find it too basic. Given that it is an ongoing series with new adventures each month, it makes me wonder if the difficulty varies. Knowing that this is free and works well, it seems worthy of continued play. It is a puzzle game, but not really an immersive escape room experience. Note that I would not recommend this game if there was a charge. A Peculiar Potion was very short – less than 10 minutes – so there is some value if you want a quick break and a fun but not-too-hard puzzle experience.

Fro’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

A Peculiar Potion was the first game I’ve ever experienced that took place solely over email. Puzzles come to your inbox one at a time, and you must reply to the email with the answer. Correct answers get you a new puzzle, and incorrect answers get you a stock message saying to try again. (I tested this.) The system must be automated, since the responses are instantaneous. Hints are available, but I didn’t try the hint system. The puzzles are pretty simple, but a couple require some outside knowledge, which might trip up a beginner.

I’m big on visuals and story lines, so a short game that took place over email with no graphics wasn’t my cup of tea. It was difficult to get invested, and it also ended a bit abruptly. However, I have to give credit to the creators for using their time and energy to provide a free offering.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This is a free, short little puzzle game. It is played completely over email, which also gives you the flexibility to take your time to respond. The puzzles are fair, and I enjoyed it.

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