You can file 3D Mailbox under the software category "sounds more interesting than it is." This unique e-mail client delivers on most of its promises, transforming individual e-mail messages into 3D avatars that walk, swim, and shuffle around aimlessly. System requirements, e-mail account limitations, and a sluggish implementation of a 3D world prevent it from rating a higher score. It's certainly not a bad product, but it does seem to be a completely unnecessary one.
3D Mailbox works with nearly any POP e-mail service that allows it to be accessed from an external client. We had no problems setting up and checking our test Gmail account, though we did have to change the port setting and tweak our antivirus client to allow 3D Mailbox to send messages out. 3D Mailbox turns each message into a 3D avatar that is, by default, male or female depending on the assumed gender of the sender. You can also make all of your messages female or male if you prefer. The men wear wetsuits and swim trunks, while the women wear barely there bikinis.
Each message comes in through the front gate and is assessed by a bouncer. All messages go through a disinfecting shower--legitimate e-mails will travel through to the high-dive and pool area, while spam will be directed to the beach.
The spam filter worked relatively well, and it's simple to mark any new message as spam. Once delineated as spam, each message transforms into an obese sumo-wrestler-style avatar and jiggles out to the spam beach. Deleting a spam message sends it to the ocean to be devoured by a spam shark. No kidding.
While a spam feeding frenzy is good fun, 3D Mailbox suffers from a sense of scale and proportion and requires a very large amount of system resources. You can rotate the camera around by clicking with your left mouse and sliding, but you cannot "pan," and zooming is limited to two perspectives. Lots of the areas in the default level--Miami Beach--are quite large, and characters can often take a long time to move themselves from your in-box (pool area) to the trash (Trash Alley). If you're the sort of person who doesn't have that many e-mails and would like to see each of them personified, give 3D Mailbox a look, but it's hard to see 3D Mailbox scaling well with any normal-size e-mail account.