Just Desserts FAQ

If you don’t see your question answered among these, please email us at:

Q: Are the guests in Just Desserts based on real people?

A: Some of them are!

Years before we brought it to print, Looney Labs published a short-run Beta version of the game, all illustrated by Andy. Aside from The Emperor, which he did draw to look like himself (the Emperor of the Universe being a long-time alter-ego of his) he didn’t put anyone else deliberately into the game.

But then Andy decided he also wanted to have Kristin and Alison in the game, and the Hippy and Nature Girl were the obvious matches. We all agreed his drawing of Agent 17 looked like his brother Richard, and Inga looked like our friend Gina. So when we had Brooke Allen do the final character drawings, we requested she deliberately make them look like those people.

The rest of the characters in the original game were either drawn to look like Andy’s art, or, in some cases like well-known characters or famous people.

For the expansions, Brooke made up characters, though we did ask for our friend John to be Doctor Coffee, since he likes coffee so much, and Kevin Bacon… well, I mean we had to include him in that expansion, right? The rest were not specific people, except for maybe one resembling a famous former president.

• The Emperor: Andy Looney
• The Hippie: Kristin Looney
• Nature Girl: Alison Frane
• Agent 17: Richard Looney (one of Andy’s brothers)
• Inga: Gina Mai Denn (a close friend of ours, married to John, bellow)
• Dr. Coffee (from the Just Coffee expansion): John Cooper (another close friend of ours)
• Roland: Shane Tilton (a fan-friend of ours) (not actually deliberately drawn to look like him, but it looks so much like him that this card is honorarily considered to be of him)

The rest of these were drawn to look like certain actors, or the characters they played on TV or in movies.
• The Dude: Jeff Bridges (after his character in The Big Lebowski)
• Mary Anne: Dawn Wells (after her character on Gilligan’s Island)
• Wally: Tony Dow (Wally was “The Beave’s” older brother on Leave It To Beaver)
• Kevin: Kevin Bacon (as himself – it seemed obvious to include him in The Better With Bacon expansion)
• Abraham Bacon: Deliberately reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln

Fun Fact: Andy’s original Lumberjack was a traditional-looking guy with a beard, but Brooke’s main claim to fame is her work on the comic series Lumberjanes, which she also illustrated, so the final art was of a female Lumberjack.

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Q: What are the differences between the first printing of Just Desserts, and subsequent printings?

A: Lucky for us, Andy wrote a blog post all about it: https://new.wunderland.com/2022/07/05/just-desserts-v1-1/

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Q: Is there any time-limit for how long someone can take on their turn?

A: There’s no time-limit on how long someone may take for their turn, but annoying the other players by taking forever to make decisions may make them decide they don’t want to play with you very often. In other words, the only time limit is the tolerance of your fellow gamers.

We’d suppose this applies to… almost any game, though what is considered a reasonable amount of time for a turn probably varies from game to game. As long as you are within what is considered average for that game, you’re probably fine.

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Q: If we’re playing with the second or later printing, and we’ve added Neapolitan Ice Cream in as a promo, how does that dessert work when satisfying the Hippie?

For those who are wondering about the differences between the first printing and subsequent printings, Andy wrote about it in a post on his blog.

A: While the Neapolitan Ice Cream can satisfy the Hippie with one card, since it has the same qualities as a Banana Split (fruit, chocolate, ice cream), it will not get you any bonuses related to it being a Favorite, since it most definitely is not.

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Q: Are there any tweaks to the rules needed when one adds the Just Desserts expansion sets?

A: Although the expansions add additional icons and guests, they’ve been carefully balanced with the existing cards so that no changes to the rules are required.

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Q: Nature Girl doesn’t have a favorite so does she not give a tip, or does she if we use a card with her little symbol on it?

A: Nature Girl does not have a specific favorite, so nothing makes her so happy she’s going to tip that extra card. The symbol on her card is merely her suit, and the favorite desserts only show the suit of the person they’re a favorite of, not which exact person in that suit. In other words, the desserts which have “her symbol” on it only have it because they are a favorite of some other character that shares her suit.

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Q: Doctor Coffee’s favorite is anything with coffee; does this mean any dessert with coffee can be played for him even if it has 2 or 3 symbols on it?

A: Yes, any dessert with coffee will be accepted by him as a “favorite.” Doesn’t have to be just the “ace.” Other symbols are fine, since he doesn’t have any ingredient restrictions.

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Q: Why doesn’t the Conceptual Artist want Coffee, since she’s in the Coffee expansion for Just Desserts??

…Also, her favorite dessert doesn’t have an icon like all of the other favorites, is this a misprint?

A: TLDR: No, those cards are not printed incorrectly, though the dessert cards might be updated in the future.

In each of the Just Desserts expansions, there is a character who does NOT actually want the featured ingredient (the Vegetarian in the Better With Bacon expansion is the other example). On their cards, naturally, you won’t find the featured ingredient listed as a component of their favorite (or in the case of the Vegetarian, that ingredient is listed – as explicitly forbidden). For this reason, their favorite is a dessert from the original deck, and not a newly-printed card in the expansion.

Because we’re not psychic enough to see the future, those expansion favorites in the original deck do not have any “favorite” indicator for the expansion because we had no idea it would end up being a favorite. On future printings we might add the “favorite” indicator – which would, no doubt, generate questions from people who do not have the expansion, wondering what this extraneous symbol means. Or we might not add it, I suppose. We could add it, and maybe put a comment about it in the FAQ on the rules sheet. Who knows?

The Conceptual Artist, being a hipster/beatnik type person who might hang around a coffeeshop (which serves plenty of items which do not themselves contain coffee) might well like Coffee Cake, which is one of those items which doesn’t contain coffee. We felt it was quite amusing (conceptually, you know) for it to be an item that’s got coffee in the title, but not the ingredients. Notice she looks quite sleepy, unlike Mr. Jitters, an equally hipster-looking type, but clearly one who loves the bean (maybe a little too much!)

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Q: If I’m Poaching a Guest, must it always be the first of two servings on my turn?

A: No. There are no requirements that Poaching be your first Guest satisfied. You could Poach for your second Guest.

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Q: If I satisfy a Guest with their Favorite, can I use the extra card drawn as a Tip to immediately satisfy a second Guest?

A: Yes.

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Q: If I’m satisfying two Guests on my turn, can both of them be served the same Dessert card, as long as each icon is only used once?

A: No. Each Guest must be served their own separate Desserts. You can’t, for example, serve a Spice Cake to one customer to satisfy their Cake craving, and somehow pull the Spices out of it to add to donuts to make a Cinnamon Roll for someone else.

By the same token, limitations on one Guest will not affect what you may serve the other Guest.

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Q: In Just Desserts, can the tip I’ve just gotten for giving someone their Favorite be used immediately to satisfy another Guest?

Q: Yes. You can use that extra card you get immediately on your turn to satisfy a second guest.

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Q: How do Guests return to play from the discard pile?

A: Generally speaking, they don’t. Guests, once discarded, are not ever “returned to play” except under the following circumstances:

The guest visible on top of the discard pile is described as being “standing in the doorway” and is still available to serve, just like the guests laid out in the tableau in the center of the table. If someone serves that guest, thus revealing the guest below, that lower guest will now be “in the doorway” and available. If the guest on top of the discard is covered by the next discard, the previous top guest is covered, and the new top guest is the one that’s available.

The only way guests buried deep in the discard pile can return is if the guest draw pile runs out and the guest discard pile is reshuffled into a new draw pile. It can happen, but won’t necessarily happen in every game.

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Q: If a Guest has three icons showing, do I necessarily need to use three separate cards to satisfy them?

A: No, in fact, you should always try to satisfy guests with the fewest cards possible.

For example, if you have a Dessert which provides two qualities the Guest needs, then you only need one other card with the last remaining icon to satisfy all three requirements for that Guest.

You’ll note that a Guest’s favorite is a single card which provides all three of their requirements. That’s what makes it a favorite! It’s the perfect Dessert to make them completely happy!

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Q: Just Desserts rules remind us that order might matter when discarding multiple Guests, but we can’t see any situation where one would ever discard more than one at a time.

…Does this mean players might be allowed to rearrange the discard pile under some circumstances?

A: Sorry for the confusion on this; it’s the downside of attempting to cover all cases. In actual play, the only time you have to discard more than one guest is on the first turn, and then only if you get multiple matches on that first draw. It’s pretty rare but it can happen, which is why the rule was written broadly. Players can look through the discard pile, but never rearrange it.

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Q: Playing with the basic starter rules in Just Desserts, we ended the game without anyone having met the win conditions. How do we resolve a tie?

… With 5 very strategic players running on the basic mode (since we were all new and wanted to learn the game), we ended up running out of cards before anyone was able to complete the requirements to win. Several of us had two of one color and two or three singles of the other colors. We ran out of guest cards with them pretty evenly distributed and nobody had a chance to win.

A: You didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately it just happens that way occasionally. That’s our bad, we thought it would be more unlikely than it is turning out to be. But we have a rule now for this case:

Keep playing until all Guests have been served. Then, if no one has achieved victory, everyone gets a score: 1 point for each Guest, plus a 1 point bonus for each matching pair. High score wins. If scores are tied, the player who has the most leftover dessert cards in their hand is the winner.

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Q: We think we broke the game. Are we doing it wrong?

See this answer in a video!
Little Answers

A: A good rule of thumb for any game is that if you find that you have several possible interpretations of a rule, the one that breaks the game is probably NOT the correct way to play.

Note that if you only see ONE way to play a card, and it seems broken, please do search our FAQ for known errata or clarifications*, or contact us. It could be a typo, or a new interaction that we have not considered.

*The fastest way is to search on the name of the card you’re having a problem with.

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