Mysterious Package Company – Curious Correspondence: The Initiation Collection [Review]

Pushing the envelope.

Location:  at home

Date Played: May 28, 2023

Team size: Solo or collaboratively; we recommend 1-3

Duration: Each game takes about 90 minutes

Price: about $38 for the set of 3 games

REA Reaction

It all started when a mysterious package showed up on my doorstep – a curious correspondence indeed! The Initiation Collection bundled together the first few chapters of Curious Correspondence, an immersive puzzle game series delivered in plain, unassuming envelopes. This compact package contained three standalone experiences, complete with imaginative paper props and interesting puzzles that were fun to figure out – a lot of puzzling in a small package!

Letter labeled "The Curious Correspondence Club" covered in an assortment of intricate paper items.

The puzzles were nicely challenging, with subtle cluing placed covertly throughout the props, obvious once you saw them, but easy to overlook. I’ve played other paper-based games that required a great deal of reading and solving puzzles with paper and pencil, however these games went a step beyond. They were not generally text-heavy, other than the descriptive introductory story. Puzzles included imaginative manipulation of paper props, combined with mechanics that were simply fun to do. Although each puzzle was decidedly different, there was enough repetition and layering involved to build momentum as we progressed towards the conclusion.

Chapter I: The Custodian’s Keys had us exploring a grand museum to find a mysterious treasure hidden in one of the exhibits. But which exhibit, and how would we find it? We didn’t know where to start at first, but the non-linear gameplay allowed us to “wander” the museum in different directions, work independently (or together), and move on to another puzzle if stuck. It felt weirdly similar to the way I would approach an in-person escape room (from my kitchen table!) Chapter II: Warehouse on the Wharf was less whimsical than the first chapter, and my least favorite of the 3. However, the utilization of props was still creative and offered a decent challenge, though one particular puzzle was difficult to see clearly. Chapter III: The Tinker’s Trinket once again brought together an interesting central prop, tactile puzzles and subtle cluing. The way that the puzzles built on each other, with items being used multiple times in different ways, led to a few unexpected, delightful moments.

Puzzling through each experience and figuring out the mechanics that yielded correct answers was highly satisfying and made the games fun. All of the stories were loosely tied together by a recurring objective, presented through high-quality videos during the finale of each chapter. Though offering a definite conclusion to each game that fit into the overarching narrative, this part of the story could have been expanded upon—was this part of a meta puzzle? What was interesting about these objects and what did they mean? Perhaps this aspect is developed further in later chapters to entice a player to see through to the end of the 12-chapter season. Either way, after having played the first 3 games, I know I want to play the rest of Season One! If you’re looking for tabletop puzzle games that go beyond the usual paper and pencil puzzles, you will enjoy The Initiation Collection.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Fans of mysterious packages
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Creative, unusual puzzles
  • Immersive, story-driven scenarios


The story began with Chapter I: The Custodian’s Keys, where we found a free ticket to the M. B. Franklin Museum of Natural History. Once inside, we studied our map, wondering where to start. Soon we met the Custodian with his ring of heavy keys; he encouraged us to use our curiosity to explore the exhibits and see beyond what most visitors see. It was here we learned the purpose of our journey and what we needed to discover in the chapters ahead.


The Initiation Collection bundled together the first three chapters of Curious Correspondence, Season One. Each chapter was contained in a single envelope.

Chapters were meant to be played sequentially, with the first chapter explaining the overall mission. That said, each chapter was a complete game that could be played independently of the other chapters.

3 envelopes with unique stamps beside a wrapped box labeled, "The Initiation Collection."


Mysterious Package Company’s The Initiation Collection was a standard play-at-home escape game with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay centered around reading the story that set up the scenario, searching materials, and solving puzzles. Each chapter contained at least one tactile puzzle that elevated the experience.


➕ The story for each scenario was imaginative and detailed, with descriptions of locations and characters that painted a colorful picture and effectively drew us into gameplay. Atmospheric videos bookended the experience, signaling the conclusion of the chapter.

➖ That said, the conclusions were almost anti-climactic compared to the rest of the game. They lacked the same level of detailed explanation around the purpose of our discoveries, and we weren’t quite sure how they fit into the larger picture. While solving the final puzzles was still satisfying, it left us wanting more.

➕ Puzzles had varying levels of difficulty, with some being quick solves, and others more involved and layered. There was little direction, leaving us to figure out where to start and how to solve, which added to the challenge. When something didn’t quite make sense, we looked through all the materials for clues, often finding something that made it all click. Inexperienced players may get easily confused and find this lack of direction frustrating, but the online hint section contains gradual clues and solutions for each puzzle.

An assortment of interesting paper items.

➕ The high-level of creativity in puzzle design made discovering expanded uses for seemingly ordinary materials exciting and very satisfying once we figured it out and/ or put it to use.

➖ One prop was really hard to see clearly, making one puzzle overly difficult. Even though we knew what to do, it took repeated attempts before finally backing into the correct answer.

➕ We appreciated the thoughtful use of minimal packaging. The overall package was small and concise. Materials were often printed on both sides and sometimes reused. The introduction was written on the inside of the envelope instead of using another piece of paper, a great use of blank space. The games could be passed on to another player by reprinting only a page or two.

❓The game was described as an analog experience, and for the majority of gameplay, this was true. However, an internet connection was required to get hints as well as to enter the final solution and view the conclusion for each chapter.

Tips For Players

  • Space Requirements: Standard tabletop
  • Required Gear: Internet connection to get hints and enter the final solution for each game
  • Season One of Curious Correspondence contains 12 chapters that can be purchased in bundles of 3 chapters each or all at once. The only chapter that can be bought separately is the first one, The Custodian’s Keys. There is a Season Two that is available for purchase as well.

Buy your copy of Mysterious Package Company’s The Initiation Collection, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Mysterious Package Company provided a complimentary game.

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