This is without a doubt the most fragrant game you'll have played! It's a game that's not just about players' sense of smell, it's one where the scents are the key components.
At the heart of this game from Organic Aromas and Hacko Games are 20 vials of what are usually described as 'essential oils'. They are divided into four broad categories (Floral, Citrus and the vaguer-sounding Plants and Trees). You'll be jumbling the vials up during the course of play but they all have a number 1-20 on their base so you can correctly identify each one if your noses fail you or if you're in any doubt.
For Aroma, Odd Hackwelder has put together not a single game but a small suite of games. The four boards are double sided and can be laid out and used in different ways depending on the game the 2-4 players opt to play. All are fairly simple and they each incorporate what the designer describes as a very short 'mini-game' to determine first player. All the games involve being the fastest and most accurate in identifying the scents.
None of the games are going to revolutionise the board game market: all are easy to play family games. The USP for Aroma tho' isn't the gameplay but the game's sniff & play novelty value. It certainly delivers an appealing package and all the smells are pleasant, so this is a game that's likely to attract passing potential players who need only catch a whiff of the components.
Before we played the game, there were initial concerns in the Board's Eye View team that there might be a risk of your oils running dry. We daresay that will happen eventually but all the games involve sniffing the vials rather than shaking out droplets of the oils, so you can expect to get ample play out of the game.
Aroma is on Kickstarter right now. Click here to sniff it out! The publishers have a highly ambitious plan to get Aroma into players' hands in time for Christmas. If they can pull this off, then Aroma will make an ideal festive season family game - and not just because Frankincense is one of the 20 essential oils! What's more, with scientists now listing 'loss of smell' as an indicator symptom of Covid, you can even use this game as an unofficial testing kit :-) If your maiden aunt is unable to distinguish Cedarwood from Eucalyptus, it could well be a sign that you need to put your family back into lockdown!