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Review: GameScent – Now you can smell your games

It’s an interesting concept, but GameScent could be too gimmicky for some users

gamescent
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie
Gamescent
3.5
$179.99 $149.99

GameScent transports players into the heart of their virtual worlds by emitting real-life scents into the air, from the aroma of fresh forests to the adrenaline-pumping scent of racing cars.

Quick Verdict: The GameScent is a unique way to add immersion to your games. Thanks to its HDMI and 3.5mm jack, the device is versatile, so you can use it across your consoles and PC. However, it would be great to see a new range of scents since there are only six, and many smell similar to each other.
Pros:
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Multi-device support
  • Clean air for after use
Cons:
  • Not great for bigger rooms
  • Some scents smell too similar
Check Availability
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
04/12/2024 02:07 pm GMT

Gaming is all about immersion, getting lost in fantasy worlds, joining your friends in an epic quest, becoming the best racing driver, or shooting your way through the latest Call of Duty game.

Over the past few years many companies have been fighting to get augmented and virtual reality off the ground.

GameScent however, is tackling immersion head on, or should I say nose on, with a whole new way of immersing gamers into their favourite games.

What’s in the box?

gamescent box and packaging with scents
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

If you often find yourself screaming “what’s in the box” like a deranged Brat Pitt wannabe, fear not, we’ve got you covered. The GameScent box contains the following:

  • GameScent atomizer
  • AC-USB adaptor
  • USB cables
  • Audio stream adaptor
  • Scent cartridges
  • Instructions
  • HDMI cable
  • 3.5mm jack

GameScent ships out with six scent cartridges, with even more available to purchase and others listed as coming soon (though we still can’t work out how to buy them). The included scents are:

  • Gunfire
  • Explosions
  • Racing cars
  • Forest
  • Storm
  • Fresh air (cleans the room of scents)
gamescent scent refills
Image: KnowTechie

GameScent also have several upcoming scents listed on its website, as well as on the packaging. The currently planned upcoming new scents that we are aware of include:

  • Blood
  • Ocean
  • Sports arena
  • Fresh cut grass
  • Napalm
  • Human exertion (not to be mistaken for excretion, which I accidentally did at first)
  • Golf course

Some of these new smells are much more exciting than others. As someone who plays Madden NFL on the odd occasion, I can see how sports arena could be a great addition.

But on the other hand, I’m not sure how often I wake up and think, I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.

Stylish design (with a few flaws)

GameScent device releasing vapor
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

Being a gaming device, the GameScent boasts some lighting to help make it stand out in the crowd, among the best gaming accessories.

The GameScent atomizer itself is a stylish hexagon, with six holes on the top for vapor to release from. It also dons the GameScent logo on the front.

While the hexagon design looks good, it sadly also creates a few issues. Space being one of the biggest ones I faced. As someone who has a vast collection of gaming accessories, and limited space, I can’t help but wonder if a soundbar style design might have worked better.

And, enjoying both console and PC games, I personally found the GameScent to work much better on PC, as I sat closer to it.

This is largely down to the GameScent atomizer’s design, which sprays the scent straight up, and can take some time to reach you, when playing on console in a bigger room.

GameScent next to PS5 and other consoles
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

For teenagers, playing in their bedroom, I can imagine the GameScent’s current design would work incredibly, but as a grown up, playing in a larger living room, by the time the scent reaches my nostrils, it often doesn’t make sense to the scene in the game I have moved on to.

This, of course could be resolved with clever placement, if you have the room to do so (which sadly I do not). But that would also require you finding a cleaver way to extend the reach of the HDMI cable, or 3.5mm jack.

I feel a tweak in the design, simply changing the shape into a bar, and giving the ability to slant the device, so the vapor sprays towards you, not straight up into the air, could be an easier way to resolve this issue.

How does it work?

GameScent Vapor slots
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

GameScent comes with an included audio stream adaptor, which has been designed to capture audio in real-time. Audio cues are then processed by the device’s AI which triggers the correct scent being released to match your gameplay.

There are six vapor slots in total, and each scent is marked with a number, so you know which slot they fit into on the GameScent device.

Vapor refills are easy to swap out, by simply pulling out the expended cartridge from the device, unscrewing it, and screwing a replacement bottle in its place However, GameScent claim each bottle should last around 5,000 bursts, so hopefully they shouldn’t need replacing too often.

In a few days of solid gaming, including games from multiple genres, the most I’ve used is 5% from one of the bottles’ total capacity.

GameScent Audio Adaptor
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

Setting up the GameScent requires you to connect to your console, TV, or computer via either the HDMI or 3.5mm cables provided in the box.

Thanks to the device having multiple ways to connect, it can also work across devices, and even TV shows and movies, if you really want to be immersed in your favourite shows and movies.

GameScent On Portable Consoles
Image: Kegan Mooney / KnowTechie

The good news is, anyone wanting to take the GameScent with them on holiday or business trips can do so, as the device works with portable computers such as the Asus ROG Ally and Steam Deck.

If you’ve ever wanted to sit in a hotel room enjoying the smell of blood, gunfire and napalm, your dreams have finally come true.

Does this all smell a little gimmicky?

gamescent refill slots and logo
Image: KnowTechie

I’m not going to beat around the bush. Yes, the GameScent is a little gimmicky. But so is VR, yet that didn’t stop me buying a Meta Quest Pro, or a PSVR2.

Just like VR, GameScent might be on the quirky side, but has massive potential. Smell is a powerful sense that can bring back memories, or simply make you feel like you are actually in a forest, out at sea, or wherever your games take you.

Emotion can also be triggered by smell too, which is another reason the GameScent might be on to something, a game that is so immersive it can feed emotions more powerful than ever, could be more than just a gimmick.

There are a few tweaks that could be made, the design and shape of the atomizer box for one. But, if GameScent is willing to take on community feedback and work on the product, a GameScent V2 could end up moving the device from a gimmick to a common gaming household product.

FAQs

How much does GameScent cost?

The starter kit, available on Amazon, comes with 6 scents included and costs $149.99

Will there be more refills?

GameScent claims there will be “many more” scents available, and currently has several “coming soon”, but these are not currently available to buy.

What do I do if I can’t connect GameScent to the app?

Make sure that your phone and the app are completely up to date. Uninstall the GameScent app and restart your device. Reinstall the app and try on your updated device.

Also, make sure that you have connected your device to Wi-Fi and if you’re on a 5GHz band, try changing to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band, as some devices suffer with compatibility issues when it comes to 5GHz networks.

An interesting concept, but there are issues

ghost of tsushima background with gamescent
Image: KnowTechie

While I was excited to be sent the GameScent, the device does have me a little conflicted. On the one hand, I loved being able to smell the forest and thunderstorms while playing Ghost of Tsushima. But, there were a few issues with the device that bothered me.

As previously mentioned, the shape of the device, doesn’t work well for bigger rooms, but it’s made worse by many of the scents often giving off a tiny burst of vapor, compared to some of the other scents.

Often I found the device misreading the landscape of a game. In fact, at one point while playing Ghost of Tsushima, I’m certain I could smell burning rubber. I mean my horse was going fast, but holy shit, it wasn’t going that fast.

But, despite the issues I faced, nothing has come close to the immersive experience I had while playing games on my PSVR2, with the GameScent hooked up.

Having a VR headset on, being fully sunk into a virtual world, while also being able to smell said virtual world (most of the time accurately), it’s something I can genuinely say I have never experienced the likes of before.

If you’re considering buying the GameScent, you need to ask yourself, is it a passing gimmick, or will you continue using it?

Will you be bothered to replace the scent cartridges when they run out, or will the device be relegated to the tech drawer, next to your Tamagotchi and other retro gadgets.

Where to buy GameScent

GameScent is currently not available on the GameScent website. However, you can buy it on Amazon.

Gamescent
3.5
$179.99 $149.99
Check Availability
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
04/12/2024 02:07 pm GMT

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Kegan is an avid gamer and tech enthusiast that has been gaming and building custom gaming rigs from a young age. He started out on his Amiga back in the 90s and hasn't stopped geeking out since.

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