💪 Difficulty: Not specified.
⏲️ Time duration: About 10-40 minutes long for each game.
🔢 Capacity: Not specified.
💬 Hints: You can reply the word "Clue" to the email server to get multiple hints. They go to vague to explicit.
🛒 If you SUBSCRIBE due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
MATTSTER'S REC 🙂
💪 Difficulty (as perceived by Mattster): Varies depending on topic (team of 1). Seems to hover around 1 to 3/10.
🔢 Ideal team size: 1. It's a "play this when you're bored by yourself" type of game.
Sign up now to our Escape the mailbox series and each month you will receive one free escape room, each months game will be a different length between 10 to 40 minutes play... depending if you have your thinking cap on that day. (Did we mention it is free! What are you waiting for, lets play!)
Access Escape is a self-proclaimed "London's first escape room in complete darkness". It is blind and partially sighted accessible, and it sounds like an intriguing idea for both those who can see and those who can't. A couple of my UK blogger friends have tried this out before, and they seem to find it unique. It sure sounds like it!
However, no country is immune to the pandemic, and Access Escape is currently not taking any booking. To keep its audience well entertained safely at home, the creators have created a free game delivered right to your mailbox--well, e-mailbox--every month. Each game is designed to keep you busy for roughly half an hour.
Key word: FREE! You really can't lose with free. C'mon.
Having played their October, November, and now their December games, I have a pretty solid idea of just what kind of animal this email subscription is.
To call this an online escape room would probably be a hyperbole, but it is a string of 4 interconnected puzzles surrounding a common theme. For example, in October, you'll try to catch a jewelry robber. In November, potion making. In December, you're helping an underprepared Saint Nick... "No no no!" he exclaims as he looks for help.
You start with one puzzle in an email; you then solve it. You reply to the said email with the correct answer, then the next will be delivered to you within minutes. Everything's automated, from puzzles, to solution verification, to clue system. It's a simple, sweet, cute package to pass the time when you're bored, and easily accessible from anywhere on a smart device.
I enjoyed each month's dedicated themes, adored the cute emojis used in all the email titles, and found it entertaining enough to stay a subscriber.
Overall, there's nothing to lose by signing up, and you can even leave the email sitting for months and then come back later to solve it when you're ready... as I did. To me, the flexibility is actually a perceived perk. So go me, a champion at capturing diamond robbers after a whopping 1038 hours, 48 minutes and 29 seconds. You're welcome, police headquarters.
Below are my specific thoughts on each monthly game published so far...
Escape The Mailbox | Access Escape
October, 2020: The Diamond Detective 💎
"You sip your morning coffee, you need it, it's 4:30AM! You were happily asleep in bed just 90 minutes ago when you were rudely awoken by a phone call. There had been a robbery at the local jewelers, a total of ten million pounds of jewelry stolen. Being chief detective means that when a robbery of this scale happens you can be sure of a phone call, though you do wish that criminals could commit crimes at a reasonable hour. At the scene of the crime there is no physical evidence of who committed the crime. However the criminal made one key mistake, they connected to the Wi-Fi to check their email. In their outbox there are emails they sent to their accomplice. The issue is, only the first email is in plain text, all the others are encrypted. Your task, working alone or with a team if you have one assembled is to crack the encrypted emails."
This was my get-to-know-you phase, as I was still getting a feel of just exactly what kind of puzzles, riddles, and challenges they're throwing at me in this email service. This detective chase took place in Europe, and involved various tricks on geography, language, and some pretty UK-specific trivia. Just so it happened, that very day, I wasn't in the mood for Googling UK factoids, so I put off the game and forgot about it until 1 or 2 months later. Needless to say, this wasn't one that hooked me, though everything was fair, and I'd imagine an English audience would've finished and enjoyed this mini game much, much sooner. Like more than 1000 hours sooner.
Escape The Mailbox | Access Escape
November, 2020: A Peculiar Potion ⚗️🧙
"It's 12:30pm, your friend Luna was supposed to visit at 10am and she's uncharacteristically late. Worried, you email Luna's neighbor Merlin to ask him to check if she's at home. He emails back saying he knocked on the door and got no answer. However he was able to gain access to Luna's lab through an open window at the top of a trellis. Inside he found no sign of Luna but he did find a burnt potion book opened to a recipe, the burning and poor handwriting has left parts illegible. Merlin suggests that perhaps together you can reconstruct the recipe and maybe that will help you find Luna. He will send you what he can read but it's up to you to fill in the blanks!"
This one! This one I liked! Merlin tried to repeat a potion recipe in hopes of locating the still missing Luna, and all the puzzles seemed a little more academia-related. There's math (though at first, I interpreted it as botany), chemistry, and more math. Because I am so familiar with the subjects used to write these challenges, I got through them rather quickly and cheerfully. These short mental workouts just happened to hit my spot! The ending was also humorous, though I gotta ask, "Merlin, what the heck did you expect?!" And of course, the story implies that I'm next. Dun dun dun!
Escape The Mailbox | Access Escape
December, 2020: A Christmas Conundrum 🎅
"Hello friend, I wonder if you can help me. I have a job to do on the morning of December 25th and I'm woefully unprepared this year. I'm supposed to deliver a series of packages all over the globe but as it stands I don't have all the gifts ready or a route figured out! I can't tell you who I am but you can call me S. Klaus... No that's too obvious, just call me Santa K. I don't want to put too much pressure on you but if you can't help it won't be a very merry Christmas for a lot of people."
December is bound to give us a Christmas special, and my feelings was largely positive on my remote assistance for jolly Santa Claus. I liked the final math problem. It was fairly difficult, felt like homework, but made me very proud after I performed some algebra magic. I smiled when I see a little bit of USA cameo. I, however, did not agree with one of the puzzles. There seemed to be multiple possible answer with open interpretations, and getting through that one step seemed like a brute-force, process of elimination chore. So mostly pros and one con. But anything for the big fella!
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