Gamescent Proves That Smells Don’t Have to Be Bad... Sometimes - Review

Gamescent AI diffuser next to six different Gamescent bottles
Credit: StealthOptional

Gamescent AI diffuser next to six different Gamescent bottles
Credit: StealthOptional

Gamescent is an... odd proposition. I remember going to the cinema to watch the fourth Spy Kids when I was 10 and thinking the idea of scratch 'n' sniff cards were an interesting gimmick, but its clear that the technology wasn't there just yet. However, Gamescent takes that similar idea and makes it a big deal, and it's an interesting solution to a problem that isn't huge.

Whether you prefer that extra bit of immersion from your videogames, or want to be hands-on with a first generation product that does mostly what it describes, the Gamescent is a worthy investment. However, for normal gamers or those not wanting to spend on frivolous purchases, you may want to wait for a new iteration.

Surprisingly, the Gamescent is a lot smaller than I had first believed. The hexagon-shaped box is light, and easy to move around, without any liquids inside the strange contraption. The roof of the device is a glossy black, much different than the matte surfaces surrounding it, and lifting the top reveals six different compartments, each of which can hold one scent bottle.

Top of the Gamescent showcasing the spray holes
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Credit: StealthOptional

Setup requires using the Gamescent app - no instruction booklet here - and each of the sections on the app take you through setting up the device and getting ready to stink out your gaming room. The Gunfire scent included with the package needs to be placed in the Gunfire slot, by sitting the bottle with the cap off in the compartment. However, other scents can be installed in any order, following a similar setup.

The way the Gamescent works is that you use an Audio Stream Adapter between your console of choice, and after some fiddling about depending on whether you use headphones or not, the Gamescent diffuser will translate audio from your game using AI into smells.

While the app does do a decent job of helping you set up the device, it can be a bit confusing and the order of instructions is... unclear, to say the least. Gamescent warns that using the splitter cable for headphones can cause cracking, and tells you to change the USB slot if this occurs. However, installing the scents is a very easy task.

Gamescent scent compartments with myself holding one of the caps
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Credit: StealthOptional

The Gamescent app gives you a rundown of how much scent is left in each compartment, while also letting you pause the device when you aren't gaming, in hopes that you save some of the liquid for future.

Now, onto the fun part - using it. Gamescent does seem to offer some successful smells when playing. Games like Apex Legends or Call of Duty easily get the Gunfire scent spraying, but considering this is the main scent that the company advertises, as well as making it the primary compartment, I'm not surprised.

It's similarly easy to get Explosion to play, considering grenades are usually flying about everywhere. However, getting Forest to spray was fairly difficult, forcing me to dive into the swamps of Red Dead Redemption 2 to get it working. Racing Cars is another easy one, so long as you're playing games like The Crew Motorfest, or occasionally, driving around in Grand Theft Auto V.

Finally, there's Storm. Storm is ridiculously hard to get to spray, and the only time it really did so was hanging around near the tornado in Just Cause 4. There's one other scent, Clean Air, which sprays every so often to clear the room, but I don't count that for the same reason.

All of the smells are... fine. They're a bit too perfumey, to say the least, smelling more so of chemicals than the smells they're trying to imitate. Forest is likely the best smell of them all, giving off a hint of nature when you can get it to actually spray.

Gunfire scent bottle for the Gamescent standing on a marble countertop
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Credit: StealthOptional

Although, that's the major issue - getting consistent results. Gamescent is offering some more scents in the near future, and while Ocean sounds like it'll be nice and relatively easy to get working (Subnautica, anyone?), stuff like Blood and Fresh Cut Grass sounds like a challenge even on paper. Considering it uses sound to identify which scent to diffuse, will the sound of blood gushing from enemies spray Blood, or will it accidentally think its the ocean?

It's an incredible effort for a niche product, though. Gamescent is a great idea of what these devices are capable of, but it's not there just yet. It's an excellent gift for tech nerds like me who always want to test the next big thing, but for the average gamer, it's likely an expensive purchase that will gather dust in a few weeks. Especially, since you can't purchase the scent refills right now.

Overall, I'm both pleasantly surprised, and fairly disappointed with Gamescent. Maybe I was expecting too much, and my excitement got ahead of me, but it's a product where it will need future iterations to be truly incredible. If you want a potential product of the future in your home, it could be worth getting. Otherwise, you should say "smell ya later" to the Gamescent.

Gamescent AI diffuser
Gamescent is an intriguing device that fits a very, very niche audience. The smells can be slightly off, and difficult to get working well, but when the stars align, Gamescent provides a glimmer of the potential future. Just wait for future generations first.
6 out of 10
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