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The Only Video Games To Ever Include Scratch And Sniff

The best video games always use the player's senses to enhance the overall experience. For the most part, the primary sense video games require is sight (obviously). However, there have been times in the past when video game developers decided to add more to the package in order for the player to use more than just their eyes. This has been done by incorporating scratch-and-sniff to give players a whiff of in-game universes.

For the few that may be unaware of the concept, scratch-and-sniff is essentially what it sounds like — you scratch a surface, and it emits a scent. On the surface, using scratch-and-sniff with a video game sounds bizarre. And in a way, it is. That's why only a handful of games have tried it in the past. Here are a few games that attempted to give players a sniff of what their worlds were.

First up: Gran Turismo 2

Released in 1999 for the original PlayStation, "Gran Turismo 2" was an absolute triumph when it came to racing sims, just like many others of the franchise. The game featured over 600 cars for players to choose from and a wide selection of tracks they could race them on. "Gran Turismo 2" was both a financial and critical success for Sony, and currently garners a 93% approval rating on Metacritic. However, realistic racing (by those times' standards) and a lengthy list of cars weren't the only notable things about "Gran Turismo 2."

For anyone who owned the game, one might remember the unique disc that featured a scratch-and-sniff coating. Known as the "Pit-Stop Disc," the game disc for "Gran Turismo 2" would give off the aroma of gasoline and burned rubber whenever it was rubbed. This was to give gamers the scent associated with racing pit lanes. If you manage to get your hands on the physical copy of "Gran Turismo 2" today, the disc apparently will still give off this scent and will certainly bring back some of those early gaming memories.

Next: FIFA 2001

"FIFA 23" marks the last time the "FIFA" branding will be used on EA Sports' seminal football series. Beginning in 2023, the series will pivot to "EA Sports Football Club" after licensing disagreements with the aforementioned international governing body of the sport. But while the "FIFA" brand will soon be over as we all know it, we can all reflect on the series as a whole and its innovative take on sports games. And that innovation isn't limited to the action you saw on the pitch.

In 2000, EA Sports released the warmly received "FIFA 2001." The game is notable for being the series' last fully fledged release on the original PlayStation before being ported over to the newly released PlayStation 2. The game is also notable for being one of only two PS1 games — along with the previously mentioned "Gran Turismo 2" — to feature a scratch-and-sniff disc.

Upon opening the game's case, players could rub the "FIFA 2001" disc in order to produce a smell similar to the one produced by a fresh football pitch. Many gamers fondly remember "FIFA 2001" for this exact reason.

Last: Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail!

The devious adventures of Larry Laffer in the "Leisure Suit Larry" franchise are well-documented. 1996's "Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail!" is no different in this regard. Taking place on a cruise ship, "Love For Sail" sees Larry attempt to woo multiple women who are parodies of real-life celebrities of the time (names of the women range from "Dewmi Moore" to "Drew Baringmore"). To further connect the player with the raunchy experience, Sierra On-Line came up with a rather odd gimmick for the game involving scent.

Along with the game, copies of "Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail!" came with a scratch-and-sniff sheet of nine different colors called the "Cybersniff 2000." These colors all represented individual scents such as perfume, chocolate, or suntan oil to name a few. In-game, a prompt would flash on screen telling the player which of the scratch-and-sniff colors to rub. The "Cybersniff 2000" seems to be popular among the series' fanbase, though existing sheets of it seem to be hard to come by.