Review of 16 Mice Make Soup (MouSoup), a tabletop RPG for 2-16 MouChefs!
MouSoup is made for all ages of gamers!
MouSoup is great for kids and adults alike! It’s rules lite, doesn’t require much reading beyond the initial set up, allows you to build unique characters without long character sheets, and is just a fun and awesome game!
There’s turns, so each player gets a spotlight and a chance to be silly, which is great for having lots of players, particularly kids, working together without stepping on each other’s toes.
Plus, with the number of players this can accommodate, it would be great for an after school program, a whole lunchbreak table, a family get together with young kids to family elders, a game night with friends, and more. It really does work for up to 16 players!
MouSoup set in the fantastic world of cooking competitions!
MouSoup set the group of characters (MouChefs) in the world of cooking competitions! They are contestants on the famous show, MouSoup where they must collectively create a 3 course meal that features each MouChef’s unique and special ingredient.
The setting is familiar and clear, and it allows for a lot of mischief within that frame (either for the players to get silly with their creations and descriptions or for the judge to have some great reactions to the players’… creations). There’s opportunity for drama as prep and ingredient incorporations succeed or fail or as different chefs come up with some strange combinations, like, when we played, my kid made the infamous “turkey ice cream” like you’d see on Iron Chef (and he’s never even seen Iron Chef)!
It’s a fun setting to mess around in, and we all really enjoyed getting to play out our cooking show shenanigans!
Your MouChef character in MouSoup
In MouSoup, you play as a MouChef! They are a little mouse who has honed their cooking skills as either a professional chef or home cook to bring forth their own unique creations.
To make your character, you determine what their special ingredient is. For our game, my kid and I each made two characters (so we could test out how it runs with more characters) and were working with: pumpkin, cheddar cheese, noodles, and turkey.
Next, you choose what type of chef your mouse will be – are they more of a home cook? Or are they more of a professional, classically trained chef? Once you pick, it determines how you roll throughout the rest of the game.
And that’s it! You only need to track your ingredient and your chef number, and the rest is all about your personality!
Rules lite mechanics and great storytelling in MouSoup
Tweaking Lasers and Feelings for a new style of game
MouSoup uses the Lasers and Feelings system for its core mechanics, but applies it in a fun and unique way that’s flavored just for this game.
When you pick the chef number for your mouse, this determines where they sit in the range between home cook (low numbers) and classically trained chef (high numbers). You want to roll above your number to make an awesome comfort food-type dish and below your number to make a fancy and refined recipe, so you get to tweak, via your chef number, how to modify your odds of either.
When you roll right on your number… that’s when something REALLY special happens. You get to channel Chef Mice-umoto to tweak the recipe for the group!
I loved this spin on Lasers and Feelings to make it usable for a cooking setting, and the mechanics are easy enough to understand and use so that the game won’t slow down even with a big group.
Collaboration and storytelling in MouSoup
MouSoup runs each course of the competition through prep, cooking, presentation, and scoring, and though each round everything is about storytelling and trying to work together!
During prep, you need to describe how you get your ingredients ready individually to get that initial drop into this round’s RP elements.
For cooking, this is a big collaboration point – each player takes turns explaining how their ingredients work with ALL the other ingredients to attempt to make a cohesive dish (even if that includes some weird combos!)
After that, you must figure out how to present this final concoction to the judge for scoring… and this gets hilarious. When we played, my kid needed to explain how chocolate spaghetti covered in pumpkin pie sauce and turkey ice cream with chocolate parmesan bits was the best thing this judge would ever eat, and it was amazing. He got a lot of points for his description.
And that’s a good lead in to the scoring points! Regardless of how weird your dish is, you get points for your description, creativity, and boldness despite some possible flavor combo concerns, so it encourages and rewards that silly RP and focusing on having fun!
Puns and cuteness in MouSoup
So, I know puns and cuteness aren’t a mechanic on the list, but they add so much to this and set the tone for the game, so it does factor heavily into the gameplay.
From referencing Chef Mice-umoto to making MouChefs to competing in the Mice En Place round of the competition, we had a lot of giggles, and I think this is really important. Like I said, it sets the tone for the game and lets everyone know that this is meant to be silly and to go have fun making something weird and interesting!
What did my kid think about MouSoup?
This was GREAT! I actually saved playing this game for when we were having a soup day (I save kitchen scraps until there’s enough to make soup stock), so we combo-ed it up for the theme, and my kid really enjoyed it. For our first round, I framed it as “what do you want to put into the soup”, and he was off having a great time explaining how his little mice were making the best mac and cheese soup the world has ever had!
He loved being able to give lots of descriptions and handled the turn rotation really well too. My kid also loved this game’s freedom to get creative and, as the rounds passed, he got more and more adventurous with his recipes (resulting in that turkey ice cream I mentioned earlier). We also used some of his play kitchen food for a round, and that went over really well too (suggestion for if you try with your kids!). It was a lot of fun, and he really enjoyed the game!
Overall thoughts on MouSoup
MouSoup is cute, creative, and fun! It’s great for groups, either small or large, and we had a great time playing and trying out weird food combos. It was also great to share a cool food/cooking experience with my kid that helps to see that weird flavor combos might be OK and to try things to see if they work! It was also just some good silly fun, and I hope you enjoy it too!
Find a copy of MouSoup
you can find Rosie, the game’s creator here on twitter, and you can find MouSoup here on Rosie’s ko-fi!
I hope you get the chance to check out and enjoy MouSoup too! Let me know below if you try it out and what your thoughts are!If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest reviews, tips and tricks, game and podcast list updates, and more! Thank you for playing tabletop RPGs with your kids and sharing this awesome hobby with the next generation!