What’s That Smell? Game Review: Is it Stinky or Fresh in 2020?

Editor's rating:
9.0
Reviewed by Brankica Ivanova
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We like

Simple rules of playing the game

Competitive but fun game

Good for playing with free application that offers timer and camera for recording all the funny faces

We don’t like

It can make the whole house smell bad

All different smells blend together

How it works

The good old board games like Monopoly, Battleship, Cluedo, Scrabble and Risk for sure never go out of fashion and are still much popular, especially nowadays when the winter days are here. So, if you want fun for the whole family but you do not want to leave the room on a cold or rainy day, one of the best options is always a board game. It’s an engaging inexpensive way of getting the whole family together and spending quality time, or a way to have a good laugh when together with your friends. These days board games are more interactive and offer bigger adventures or risks for the players. Among many companies and designers who constantly try to think of new and more creative board games we came across the WowWee and  WowWee comes with another board game that will definitely raise interest because it is not an ordinary guessing game but a game that involves some mystery, a bit of challenge and some testing of your senses. Today we are having a look at the board game called “What’s that smell?”, so if you want to put your sense of smell on test take time and take a look at our review.

What is there in the box?

What is there in the box?

This board game is a guessing game which is intended for 2 to 6 players and it is a competitive game where teams can compete against each other in guessing different types of smells. The game comes packed in a box that includes one pad that is used to mark the score accompanied with holders that hold the cards for the maximum number of players, which is 6 players. Each of the cardholder is labelled with a number from 1 to 6. In total there are 48 cards which contain mystery smells but in order to make the cards smell you will need to use a strip so for this the company designed one sheet of whiff strips. For extra fun and many laughs there are 4 special cards that are put in four zip-lock plastic bags. These 4 cards contain stinky odors and the winner of the game chooses one of the four cards to “punish” or “shame” one player.
Who is this game for?

Who is this game for?

The game is recommended for kids who are over 14 years old and there is no upper age limit so this makes the game ideal for family nights, Christmas and other holidays when the family is gathered together and everyone wants to spend a fun and enjoyable time. Younger kids than 14 can also participate in the game but under close supervision and in any case we would not recommended it for younger than 11 years old. It is a great laid-back game where you do not have to sit around a table but players can be scattered around the living room sitting comfortably on the sofa. This game would be particularly interesting also for teen parties because of its fun element and because it can be a competitive game at the same time. This game can be played from around 30 minutes to an hour and if you play it longer it might get more difficult to recognize the scents since you will sniff various smells constantly throughout the hour so all the smells can start blending or seem to be alike.
Rules

Rules

This game can be played by minimum of 2 players that will compete one against each other and maximum by 6 players who can organize themselves in teams. One person should be appointed for StinkPin whose task is to observe whether the players abide to the rules, to watch out for the set time and sums up the total score for each player at the end.
Each player gets a numbered cardholder, takes one scorecard and a strip in order to discover the smell. Then each of the players should pick up a card that he or she inserts into the holder. The card consists of two parts -one part is where the smell can be released and the second part hides the correct answer of what is that smell actually. There is a labeled place where you should brush the card with the strip and make a guess where is the smell coming from or what is the source of the smell. You should be careful with brushing the slip against the card; it should not be done hard in order to avoid damaging the card. Each player after taking a sniff can write his/her guess into the pad. The pad also contains categories that are written down and you just have to put a tick for the category that you think the smell belongs to. If you want to earn some extra points you can also write a memory that this smells associates you to, which at the same time was a funny moment and it definitely brings players together because they share their personal, funny and often embarrassing moments so you can always learn something new for your friends or family that you did not know of. When each player finishes noting down the scent he/she passes on the left the cardholder with a mystery card and everyone gets a new cardholder. When the round is finished the person with the highest number of guesses is the winner. If you have a draw then the two players who have the same points can compete against each other in quick rounds.
Interactive features

Interactive features

If you want to add additional challenge, excitement and competitive element in the game you can download the application called What’s that smell?The game can be played with or without the application. You can download the application free of charge. There are two modes – Party mode and Smell-off mode. In the party mode you can choose a number of the smells that you are going to guess from 2 to 6, corresponding to the number of players. You can also choose to set time for each round, and in this case there are three options 30 seconds, 45 seconds and 60 seconds. After the time is up the application tells you to pass the card to the player next to you and it also announces the final round. The second mode is used for a quick round where you have to decide who the winner is between the two players who have equal points. Each player will have 15 seconds to guess the card. There is an option for reek camera too, where if you are a winner you select the stink card and a player that will have to sniff the stink card and you can take a memorable photo of the reaction of the player or film the reaction in slow motion. The option for taking photo and later sharing on the social media add to the fun element and we believe that this feature is especially popular among teenagers.
Senses and smells

Senses and smells

The categories that can be ticked or you can classify the smells into are: fruits, sweets, fresh, spices, smoke, chemical things and plain stinky. The cards (48 in number) and plus 4 Stinky cards contain more than 50 different smells among which some are pleasant smells like fruits and some are stinky and disgusting. The smells are not easy to guess and maybe it is a little easier to tick a category to which the smell belongs to rather than to guess whether the smell resembles a lemon or an orange scent. Overall the level of difficulty really depends on the person’s developed sense of smell, but definitely the cards are made to contain a range varying from easy guesses to really difficult ones. The smells that are released from the cards are durable and last long but at the same time after you touch the cards the smell often transfers to the fingers and sometimes can be really difficult to take the smell off the skin. Some smells are really strong when you sniff and not very pleasant. Majority of the users also state that very often when you pack the cards again in the box all different smells blend and affect each other, especially the stronger smells prevail against the other ones. Some of the greatest and most common complaints regarding the smell of the cards are that some of the cards smell more of the print of the cardboard rather than the actual smell, smells can be really similar one to each other because of the blending so the smell comes a bit of artificial and thereof very difficult to guess and that the provided answers relevant to the smell can sometimes seem a bit awkward and a little strange. The answers are part of the card but are hidden and after everyone is done with the guessing you can unfold the part that is folded. However, the company has clearly stated that they had come up with the answers on the basis of other people’s opinion and the top answers on the surveys were taken as correct answers. There is an option on the application for users of this game to suggest a better option for a particular card and smell and if there is a sufficient number of people to support this option it might become the new correct answer.
The four stinky smells that are used for shaming the participants who are “losers” are really strong and after sniffing some people get sick of the smell. These cards are in bags and are not used for guessing since the bags are transparent and you can actually read what you smell and the smells are: diaper blowout, smothered in B.O., extra old toe cheese and chunky vomit. Since the smells can be really strong the game is not recommended to last long or more than 30 minutes and this is marked on the box itself because if played longer the smells can cause headache. In order to take care of the cards you should return the cards into their compartments.
Categories and points

Categories and points

If you are wondering how you can find out who is the winner, the game rules and instructions are the best place to look for an answer. Each player should write his or her answer of the relevant card and after the round is finished each card reveals the correct answer and some possible answers. For each correct answer the player who guessed receives 5 points. If you were close enough and gave the second or third possible answer that are always related to the top answer you receive 3 points. If you had not luck in making the guess but managed to tick the right category then you get only 1 point. The game also gives option for the players to earn some points from sharing their funniest memories or events that are related to the smell. Group of players listens to all the stories and then decided which is the funniest and rewards that player with 2 points. This part with the memories is really nice because besides playing and competing it leaves a space for some personal stories where families can remind themselves of nice past memories or members of the group can learn something new about other members. But again it really depends on the group of players and how much they are into putting an effort to remember and retell their funny experiences. Anyway, it adds to the fun element of the game. Once you calculate the points and decide who the winner is, it is also nice that the winner gets a “prize”. The prize is that the winner chooses a person from the group that has to sniff one of the four disgusting and stinky cards. However, if you play the game more than once you will definitely learn the smells and which smell belongs to which card and in this case the point of the game can be missed.

Bottom line

This game is definitely not for everyone, but it would be a great fun for people who are open to try new things and are ready for some disgusting smells. It would make a great gift for teenagers and it can be fun to be played at birthday parties, especially because it can be played by up to 6 players and it is a dynamic game that does not last more than 45-60 minutes. It is a competitive game where the winner is chosen thanks to his/her developed good sense of smell. For an extra challenge and raising up of the competitive spirit you can download the application that comes with the game where you can set the number of players and time. The winner takes it all and the losers will have to hope that they will not be the chosen one who is going to smell one of the four extremely stinky cards. All in all, this board game can definitely provide some new kind of fun night.
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