Designed By: Odd Hackwelder
Art By: Odd Hackwelder
Published By: Organic Aromas
Player Count: 2-4
Time to Play: 20-40 Minutes
We "nose" of a game you'll love. Aroma by Organic Aromas is actually 4 games in one, which use the same components to play. However, the most important game piece doesn't actually come in the box and is something each player is already equipped with: a nose! Aroma our first tabletop game where your nose is will be what leads you to victory. Strategy and luck will only get you so far in the Aroma games, but being able to pick up subtle differences in scents will score you a win!
Aroma is a game that came to Kickstarter late in 2020 and is now available in retail by a company that actually specializes in essential oils. Aroma has to contain some of the most unique board game components out of any game we have ever played. It comes with actual essential oils to use during the games! 20 adorable little glass roller bottles, each filled with a unique scent in one of four categories: floral, trees, citrus, and plants. Some are scents that are more common like peppermint or lavender and some are more unique like Elemi and Ylang Ylang. Spoiler alert, Ylang Ylang smells amazing.
As mentioned above, Aroma contains 4 games in one box: discover, survive, revolve, and collect. The games have different player counts, so if you have more players you can try out different options and keep things fresh. The rule book clearly explains which components will be needed for each game as well as how to set them up. There are also fun mini-games for each of the four main games. These mini-games are used to determine who will be the starting player. Let's look at each game a little more closely!
30-40 minutes to play
Goal: identify your 5 aromas faster than your opponents....but there is also a second way to win. Players will take turns guessing aroma's from their aroma tray. They will then pass the aroma to another player to "challenge them". The challenged player needs to decide if they agree or disagree with the initial assessment. Depending on which player(s) are correct, the oil may be revealed, and/or players may advance their player piece one (or two) space(s) on the board. The first player to reveal all five of their aromas wins. However, if a player also reaches the center of the board with their player piece before anyone correctly guesses all of their aromas, that player wins instead!
What we really liked about this version of Aroma is that it allows for the most engagement on other player's turns, as it is possible to actually score points or win when it is not your turn. It makes the four-player game fun since you are not sitting around waiting in between the other 3 player's turns.
20-40 minutes to play
Goal: Eliminate all of the other players by naming their aromas. In this game, players will take turns selecting an oil from any other person's tray and having the person who's turn it is try to correctly guess the oil that was selected for them. If the oil is correctly guessed it is removed from the game. The last player standing with an oil in their tray is the winner.
Survive is a fun variant as it allows for more "take that" gameplay than the other modes do. While a player cannot be targeted 2x in a row, players can choose which remaining players they would like to go after. As a fan of "take that" games, we enjoyed this option. This is also the only game mode designed to be played with 2 players, so if you are playing with a small number of people, this mode is for you.
30-40 minutes to play
Goal: Smell the oils and pass them around; identify the most aromas under pressure to win. Players select one oil from their trays simultaneously and smell it. They then take a guess as to what they smelled by placing the matching aroma tokens face down in front of them. All players now pass the oil they just smelled to the player on their left. They then get one sniff of the new oil and take a guess for that scent, again putting the matching aroma token on their pile. Play continues until all players have smelt the oils originally selected by each player. The correct oil information is revealed and players score one point per correct guess. This repeats for 3 more rounds. In the end whichever player has the most points wins.
The Revolve variant is unique because all players are essentially guessing for the exact same options. There is no chance that someone gets lucky and has all the scents you know. Since everyone takes a guess for each oil in play, it is easier for those that may be more unfamiliar with the different scents to have an equal shot of winning. It is also fun because you can really judge your nose against your friends here and see who is the superior smeller.
30-40 minutes to play
Goal: Find all of your aromas and bring them home. Collect may be the most challenging of all of the Aroma games. In this game, each player selects one of the four categories. They then randomly draft oils from their opponent's categories to fill their tray with. On a player's turn, they select an oil from another player tray and try to guess the smell. If they are correct and it is n oil that belongs in their own category they collect it. If they are correct but it is an oil in another player's category they get to guess again. If they are wrong, the oil is not revealed and the next player guesses. The goal is to find all of your own aromas first.
This game is good for those looking for a challenge. Since you have a specific category you are trying to collect, it is helpful to pick a category of scents you are most familiar with. However, you will still be smelling other scents too, so just because you got lucky with the category you wanted doesn't mean you automatically win.
Overall we had a blast putting our noses to the test. Our game night was filled with laughs as you watch other players incorrectly guess scents you assume are easy to figure out, only to do the same on your turn. Aroma takes the idea of scratch and sniff to a whole other level. It is nice that there are a variety of ways to play, and we really appreciated the mini-games as a way to determine who goes first. It was awesome to play a game that featured such innovative components and unique gameplay. You don't need to be obsessed with oils to enjoy playing Aroma, but if you know of anyone who is really into oils and you want to get into board games, this could be a great way to reel them in!
SPECIAL COUPON CODE:
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