I know it is only October, but Christmas is firmly in my sights already. My family and I play a lot of games around Christmas, and for much of the rest of the year too, so JHogg and I have already been discussing what games we want to give as gifts this year in the hope that we get to try them out too! To get us in the mood I was sent the What’s That Smell? game to try out. JHogg has a particularly bad gag reflex when it comes to smells, so I thought it sounded like a great idea to get him to give it a go with me. What could possibly go wrong?

What's That Smell? Game cards laid on a table

The game is for 2 – 6 players, however the instructions do give you tips on how you could play in pairs if there were more than 6 people keen to have a go. Inside the box you will find:

  • 1 Pad Of Score Sheets
  • 48 Mystery Whiff Cards
  • 1 Sheet Of Whiff Strips
  • 6 Cardholders
  • 4 Stank Cards
  • 4 Reusable Bags

The format of the game is really simple. Everyone has a card, the timer starts and you scratch and sniff using your whiff strip then write down the answer on your score pad. You can get extra points for guessing which category the scent is from and for sharing your funniest memory with it. Once the time is up, you pass your card on to the next player and keep going until you’ve sniffed them all. The winner of each round is crowned the Nose-It-All and gets to nominate someone to suffer the Whiff of Shame – 3 big sniffs of one the disgusting Stank Cards!

If you want to add an extra element of fun to the game, you can download the What’s That Smell? game app. You can input the number of smells and select the number of seconds you want to have to make your guesses, then it will do all the hard work for you. You can even record the person sniffing the Stank Card in slow motion to watch back later using the Reek Cam.

A card with an apple on it, as part of the What's That Smell? game

JHogg and I played a few rounds just the two of us, as we thought it would be best to get a feel for the game before playing it with anyone else. I was surprised by how hard I actually found it. For quite a few of the smells I was sat thinking “I KNOW this…. but what is it?!”. I was quite wary of breathing deeply at first, just in case they weren’t nice smells (I was paranoid ever one would be a fart smell or something equally disgusting), but I didn’t have to worry as after a quick rub with the whiff strip the smells were very clear. Very few of the scents were not pleasant. They are usually things like apple, coffee, cut grass or a burnt toast smell.

A man in a striped tshirt and wearing glasses smelling a card as part of a board game

Despite his usual intolerance for strong smells, JHogg actually did quite well with the What’s That Smell? game and it ended up being me who lost. I had hoped that he would be put off and not thinking straight but I was so wrong! He chose the Extra Old Toe Cheese card for me, and it really was as foul as it sounds.

A woman in glasses and a striped tshirt is smelling a card with "Whiff of shame" written on it as part of the What's That Smell? game

The instructions came with some rules for looking after the game, to make sure it can be used time and time again. I am glad we read them fully first, as it tells you that you don’t need to scratch the cards to get the smell, just rub once. Doing it gently like that means that they are more likely to last a long time. The Stank Cards each come with their own scent barrier bags, to make sure they don’t stink the place out when you’re not using them. I was a bit skeptical about them working but they really do, so there is no fear of being hit by the stench of Hot Chunky Vomit when you open the box.

The game states it is suitable for ages 14+, and I guess that is because they assume younger children wouldn’t be accustomed to the full range of smells that teens and adults would be. That said, I see no real reason that they can’t have a go too provided they are properly supervised to make sure they use the cards properly.

I think this game is pretty funny and we will definitely be getting it out to play with friends too. You can buy it for £24.99 on Amazon right now, and I would recommend you pick it up as a silly gift for someone this Christmas! Especially if you want to make sure they have a whiff of the Stank Cards 😉

I was sent the What’s That Smell? game for the purposes of carrying out an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.