Game Review: Moose Trip

Gamewright: Kira Magrann / @kiranansi / patreon
Year: 2019
Genre: Micro RPG
Players: 2-5
Length: 1 page
Playtime: 1-2 hours
Get it here: Itch
Score: ★★★★★

Who might enjoy this game?

  • Folks who enjoy getting existential and speaking slowly
  • Folks who enjoy letting their mind wander
  • Folks who enjoy talking about their feelings
  • Folks looking for a far-out, no prep game

Kira Magrann has made a big impact on me as an artist and gamewright. Their online presence has really helped me think through contemporary play cultures and their games have really expanded my view on how much more games have to offer than what is available in mainstream marketplaces. Moose Trip is my favorite game from Kira and I feel it’s a perfect introduction to their work for any one who isn’t already familiar.

Moose Trip is a very accessible and beautiful game. All of the rules fit on one sheet of paper. It includes introductions, principles of play, safety/consent mechanics, and a 1d20 random mushroom feelings table. Each player pretends to be a moose that is high on psychedelic mushrooms by responding to prompts from the mushroom feelings table. It’s a very simple structure without too much hand holding. It relies on the players to co-create a chill space and negotiate their own experiences.

When I played this recently with my friend, Allison, we had a blast!  I spun Funkcadelic’s album, Maggot Brain and after a few rounds of play, it felt like I really became a tripped-out moose pondering my small and simple life in the cosmos.  Allison constructively slowed the game down, taking long pauses of silence to visualize her moose trips. By doing so, she informally added that long silence into the rules. I highly recommend doing the same, especially if you have some trippy and relaxing music playing to help you get in the zone!

There was a moment of bleed that really helped me identify with my moose-self.  In my life, I often feel large, oafish, and clumsy. When the mushroom feelings table told me I was having an out of body experience, I saw my moose-self laying in the grass from 100 feet in the air, and I realized how tiny I actually was, both of me and my moose-self.  On another roll, I saw, with my moose eyes, the northern lights as a trail of parted in the sky by some cosmic beast too large to notice me, and I wondered where in the world it was going.  I felt swept up in the wake of something truly big, and I was humbled.  

I don’t use recreational drugs. I’ve never taken mushrooms or experienced ego-death, so I can’t say how accurate the experience is. I’ll say this, I was deeply moved by seriously attempting to answer questions about my moose emotions with a trusted friend. Moose Trip is a beautiful game, and I suggest you buy a copy and play it with some cool people on a cold night.

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