These handmade candles are a pretty cool idea. You light it up, and it adds another dimension to your gaming "experience". Much like smell-o-vision, the product is aimed at immersing you completely in the game, especially if you are already using VR. Skyrim is still alive and kicking, especially with the 30+ hour mod-expansion, Lordbound heading our way, and I know a guy who bought Fallout 4 two weeks after it was released, and he is still playing it. The question is, are these candles worth it? Do they truly enhance your gaming experience?
In order to properly review these experience enhancers, I first needed to understand them- I needed to temper or expand my expectations, so I didn't expect too much or too little. The description of the Skyrim candle is as follows:
"Add some intensity to your Skyrim experience with the magical scent of the pine forest covered mountains of beautiful Skyrim with our officially licensed Skyrim VR candle. Providing approximately 25 hours burn time, this forest inspired scent will make you feel like you are right there battling your way through the pine forest but be aware of the frostbite spiders!!"
Alright, then- intensity, magical scents, 25 hour burn time, forest-inspired scents make me feel like I'm really there, got it.
The Fallout 4 candle's description is somewhat similar:
"Enhance your wasteland experience with this handmade, scented candle from "Fallout 4". Strolling through the wastes, your companion Dogmeat at your side, you inhale deeply and smell the scent of "nuclear decay". Yes, this is what it smells like. It's nice."
In terms of smell, I was excited to see just what these scented-wax-masters thought perfectly encapsulated both games. They are both such long, sprawling titles, I'll admit I was hoping for a multi-layered smell-experience, with a variety of layers of differently scented candle waxes. I was hoping for the crisp smell of brisk winter air, blending slowly into wooded forests... wisps of dragon fire, with the earthy scents of creaking, worn leather. I wanted steel and iron, fire and ice, hot deer stew cooking on a fire made of oak logs. Maybe I was hoping for a bit much, but hey, a guy can dream.
The candles weigh 1.32 pounds and come in an attractive tin. I was kind of hoping for something a bit more "Skyrim-y" than a round tin, but then again, I realize there aren't many options for holding burning hot wax. Still, it would have been nice to have the decal/sticker made to look like leather, or chain mail, for example. Same with the Fallout 4 candle; it'd be nice if it looked beat up and corroded, like a small version of a rusty, galvanized pail. Even if the sticker would have stayed exactly the same, but had a more weathered look, like it had been lying out in the dirt for months, I would have been pleased.
The Skyrim candle smelled piney, so I did get my wooded forest scent as advertised, which I was happy about. That was pretty much it though, which was a bit disappointing. I suppose they went with the safer option here, since there are a LOT of trees in the game, but for a $20+ candle, I was kind of hoping for more than pine. It is a perfectly pleasant scent, and the packaging told me what to expect, so I got what I bargained for.
The Fallout 4 candle on the other hand... not as good. It smelled sort of like a high school dance, kind of like those body-spray commercials you see that are desperately trying to be funny but aren't. I wasn't sure what was supposed to smell like this in the game; definitely not me, the main character, who has been wandering around in a bombed out, irradiated wasteland. I assume they didn't want to make a scent that smelled like a rotting zombie lying on a pile of burning trash, but if this is supposed to be enhancing my experience, I would say it does the opposite. There is an unpleasant undercurrent to the cologne-like smell which is a little closer to the mark, but the cologne smell ruins it for me. I wouldn't expect anything in the game to smell like this- it's kind of like sitting in a brand new car and it smells overpoweringly of spaghetti. Yeah. Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?
If you are interested in picking these up (there's a Resident Evil candle as well) head over to yellowbulldog or numskull.co.uk and check out their wares. These guys have a lot of videogame and comic book stuff for sale.