Tag Archives: coffee

Just Desserts is the sweetest, tastiest card game

I’ve been on a real solo board/card gaming kick as of late, mostly because I’m used to playing by myself and I can probably only convince Melanie to join me on these larger-than-life games, such as Fallout: The Board Game or A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, so many times. I know it is not her thing, and that’s perfectly fine. However, when I saw Just Desserts in my local gaming store, I thought this might be a good one for us to play. It’s all about eating yummy food, specifically desserts. The game is recommended for two to three players, but I think three or more is the best way to go. Two players is fine, but less cutthroat.

Just Desserts comes from Looney Labs, which is the company that makes five thousand and thirty-two Fluxx variants each year. That’s an estimate. I have a copy of Zombie Fluxx from years ago and tried to play it once or twice, not really enjoying it all that much. Or maybe I just didn’t understand all the rules swapping around. I also have a copy of Retro Loonacy from them, which has yet to be played, but I love the artwork nonetheless.

Anyways, Just Desserts is a sweet, delicious card game all about serving some very picky guests at the cafe you work at. No soup, no salad, no main dish… all they want is dessert, and I can understand where they are coming from. I mean, over the Christmas holiday, I probably ate more cookies than anything else, along with a few peanut butter trees from the good ol’ boys at Reese’s. You’ll have to compete with your fellow waiters to serve guests their favorite goodies before someone else gets to them first.

The rules are relatively simple and easy to explain. Each player starts with a hand of three dessert cards while three guest cards are placed in the center of the table; each dessert card shows one to three tastes that it satisfies, such as chocolate, fruit, or pastry, while the guest cards show what they crave, as well as what they refuse to eat, such as veggies or peanuts. On your turn, you draw a dessert card, add a guest card to the table from the deck, then take one of three following actions:

  • Serve (and claim) one or two guests by discarding one or more dessert cards to give them what they want (while avoiding what they don’t want); also, if you give a guest their favorite item, which basically meets all their desires, you get tipped with an extra dessert card.
  • Draw one more dessert card.
  • Discard as many dessert cards as you want, then draw that many cards from the deck to refill your hand.

At the end of your turn, discard guests from the table so that only one guest of each “suit” is still waiting to be served; however, you can consider this guest heading out the door, but still in play to be claimed…until another guest card is discarded on top of it. You win Just Desserts if at any time you’ve served three guests of the same suit or five guests of different suits.

I absolutely love the art in Just Desserts, which is done by…I’m sad to report, I don’t know. I’ve tried searching online for the artist, but am having no luck. Please, if you know, let me know, and then we can all know. Each dessert card looks delicious, even if it is a dessert that I don’t want to eat. The guest cards are goofy and fun to look at, and each person looks unique and truly stands out from one another. My only quibble is that the font on guest cards for their favorite treat is small and hard to see from a distance when you have them in the center of the table. The gameplay is loose and casual, but fun, and there are variants you can use to make it more aggressive, such as stealing other player’s claimed guests, but we haven’t tried these yet.

I’m excited to play more Just Desserts in 2019 and have even ordered copies of the two tiny expansions–Just Coffee and Better with Bacon. They don’t seem to mix up the gameplay too much, but rather add more dessert cards and characters to please in your cafe. Fine by me. I love both coffee and bacon.

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Picus Communications employees don’t care about coffee

As a coffee lover, this post is gonna hurt. And contains some slight spoilers about Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But it’s mostly about spilled coffee. Prepare thyself…

After Jensen learns some unsavory things, he has Faridah Malik fly him directly to Montreal, namely the office headquarters of Picus Communications, where he’s hoping to find answers. Unfortunately, there’s no one there to answer his Qs. See, upon sneaking into the building, it’s quickly evident that all of Picus Communications is out to lunch–a really long lunch, that is. Phones are continuously ringing, the floor is littered with papers, chairs are knocked aside, and, most horrifying of all, coffee is spilled across many desktops. I counted at least six or seven battered cups, and there were probably more, but I didn’t examine every cubicle desk or office; some desks had filled coffee cups not knocked over, but the majority of Picus workers definitely whacked their hot drinks across the face before high-tailing it to an emergency exit. That doesn’t make sense to me.

Let’s recreate what happened at Picus Communications. Your name is Zack (male) or Stacy (female). You’re checking emails at work, sipping that delicious java, slowly waking up. Suddenly, without warning, the fire alarm goes off. Despite years of training for fire drills, you panic. Your stomach drops, and you frantically look to the cube to your right. “Zack/Stacy!” your co-worker screams, eyes wide with terror, driblets of sweat snaking down their face. “GET OUT NOW! THERE’S NO TIME FOR COFFEE, GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE!” And then you made a mad dash for safety, with little to no care of how you placed your coffee cup back down. It totally spilled across your keyboard, but you don’t know that. You keep running, and you never look back. After all, you work for Picus Communications.

I spent a decent amount of time examining these coffee spills. They were all different, and in a game where one basement looks like that other basement and one warehouse looks like that other warehouse, this was appreciated. One spill even trickled down the side of a desk, as if aiming for the waste-bin, desperate to end it all. If this was Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, I totally would’ve picked up every discarded cup and deposited in the trash–or on someone’s chair, to teach them a lesson.

I really wanted to find some awesome screenshots of these coffee tragedies, but alas, the Internet let me down. And I don’t have software that can record my actual gaming. Shame. But maybe it’s better y’all don’t see what a bunch of weirdos do to their coffee cups upon learning it is time to evacuate. I know I’ll never get those images out of my head.

Meet The Sink’s numerous personality modules from Fallout: New Vegas

Without a doubt, Old World Blues is the best DLC add-on for Fallout: New Vegas so far. It has stellar writing, wonderful voice acting, memorable characters, and a decently sized map to explore as you please. It stands a fraction taller than Point Lookout for delivering a great, bite-sized Fallout experience, even if at times it could be a little too chatty, a little too difficult, and a little too reliant on energy weapons for success. Thankfully, my current character Kapture was already a 100 in the Energy Weapons skill before heading over to Big Mountain to be swarmed by Roboscorpions and frenzied Securitrons. One might also want to consider a character high in Speech, as there are a lot of, um, things to speak with, and yes, I said things, not people. Let’s get into that.

All My Friends Have Off Switches is a faux main story quest in Old World Blues; it doesn’t necessarily have to be completed, but I feel like many gamers will go after it, and it mostly runs parallel with the true main story quest, making it easier to pick up some–not all–of the personality modules as they go mucking about the Big Empty. You are basically tasked with finding holotapes that contain personalities for specific items in The Sink, which is your home-away-from-home for now. Installing these personalities will bring the items to life, and after much talking, you’ll learn what benefits they can offer. There are 10 personalities to unearth, as you’ll soon see below:

#1 – The Sink Central Intelligence Unit is a human-accessible computer responsible for Big MT’s data storage. It can repair your weapons and armor up to 100, switch off/on the other personalities in The Sink, and act as a traveling merchant, with a decent stock of items. It has a thin British accent.

#2 – The Sink’s Sink is a nice, if a bit OCD sink. Obsessed with cleanliness, the Sink is also upgradable, allowing the Courier to bottle his or her own water if they happen to have empty bottles. I never took advantage of this, but I bet it’s great for players on Hardcore difficulty.

#3 – This Auto-Doc is actually a prototype built by Dr. Mobius many moons ago. It seems to have a military-like personality, and it can provide the Courier with the following benefits: a haircut, facial reconstruction, implants of varying price, switch out brains, spines, and hearts, and change the player’s traits (only once).

#4 – This personality is a little creepy. Or should I say…seedy? The Biological Research Station is a computer mainframe that is capable of cloning and planting dried seeds that will harvest after three days. It also refers to the Courier as “baby” and makes way too many sexual references. Tara was especially perturbed.

#5 – Blind Diode Jefferson is The Sink’s talking jukebox, but don’t expect much music outta it. You might even say it’s got the blues…the old world blues. By finding special holotapes, Blind Diode Jefferson can update the Sonic Emitter with new traits and bonuses.

#6 – The Book Chute likes to eradicate sedition. What does that mean? Well, bring it lots of pre-war books, and the chute will wipe them clean, readying them for…um, that I didn’t get to discover. Checking online tells me that you’ll be able to make your own skill books with the right amount of blank books and specific items. That’s neat!

#7 – Light Switch 01 is a very seductive light switch that, while appearing to be sentient, is actually not. There seems to be some conflict between it and the light switch in the other room.

 

#8 – Not much different from Light Switch 01, but a few special dialogue options come up with Light Switch 02 if you’ve got the right perks on ya.

 

#9 – Oh, Muggy! You make yourself so hard to love, and yet you are so lovable. It is a neurotic, miniature Securitron that is obsessed with collecting coffee mugs. I get that. I suffer from the very same diseases. Basically, Muggy can turn coffee mugs, tin plates, and coffee pots into miscellaneous items perfect for using at the crafting bench. It also loves to curse. Swoon.

#10 – Last, but certainly not least, is The Sink’s evil-minded Toaster. This thing wants to burn more than just sliced bread, and it’s not afraid to tell you that. It’s special perk is that it can heat up any weapons composed of space-age Saturnite material, as well as help make extra small energy cells and microfusion cells. This very same toaster was originally cut from Fallout 2.

Whew. That’s a lot of ‘bots. I whole-heartedly recommend you speak with them often and deeply, exhausting as much of their dialogue options as you can. They are all very unique, and given that each (save for the light switches, I guess) offer some kind of benefit or bonus, it’s worth the effort. I found The Sink to be a wonderful, personified hub for my time spent in the Big Empty, and maybe now even for a main playthrough, as it features plenty of storage space, reloading and crafting benches, and helpful robots at arms’ length. For playthrough #4, I’m definitely going to try to do Old World Blues as early as possible (though the game itself warns the Courier that it is meant only for players level 15 and higher, and I struggled at times even at level 28 through 30, so, uh, eep) just to get such a kick-ass base. It definitely trumps Lucky 38 or Victor’s shack.

But there ya go. Hope you liked this little rundown of the ten robotic personality modules you’ll install in The Sink. Good luck finding all their holotapes!

Let’s spend today drinking these crazy videogame drinks

It’s St. Patty’s Day, and I’m terribly sad. There’s one less wonderful Irish lass celebrating in full on green today. In fact, I’m so terribly sad that I think I might need a drink after work is done. In honor of that statement, here’s some of my favorite videogame drinks. Chug away, my dear bros and brozettes!

Moonshine ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND

To be honest, moonshine has never touched these innocent, hobbit lips of mine in real life. However, in Fallout 3, I pretty much do whatever I want, and sometimes I just want to get crazy drunk and go to town on some mutated natives with a shovel. Moonshine is the strongest alcohol the Lone Wanderer can guzzle in Fallout 3, and it raises charisma and strength by 2 points each while reducing intelligence by 2. Just like in true life. There’s also a good chance you’ll get addicted to it–but it’s worth it.

I’M SUCH A Caffeine

Basically, every single drink you can buy at the Delicious Cup is up my alley. Especially direct coffee. I’ve had four cups already today, with the possibility of three still to go. Sometimes, I even visit that depressingly empty bar (except on Saturday nights) in Animal Crossing just to have some java despite knowing it has absolutely zero effect on gameplay. Such is the life of an addict, I guess.

HOGWARTS IS FULL OF JUICEHEADS

This was so much fun in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4. Players had to gather a number of items and throw them into a cauldron bubbling with a disgusting green mess. Only after all items were gathered could they then transform into other people, and it wasn’t just for show and tell–sometimes it took a special someone to get past locked doors. Wish I could turn into someone else right about now. Spoiler: it’s Hagrid. I wish I was Hagrid.

STRIKING TWICE

Looks like lightning can strike twice, or at least it does in Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One (whew!). With this bottle of zip and zap, your character’s speed is enhanced by 50%. Krrwhack!

MORE LIKE A BLOODY HARRY

Blood…featured strongly in every vampire game ever created. A vamp’s gonna do what a vamp’s gotta do. Personally, I dislike the taste. Too irony.

WATER IS SIMPLY WATERFUL

Hey, it’s water. Most of us drink this in true life, and it’s equally delicious in the Capital Wasteland/Mojave Wasteland. Especially if you can find purified water because, no doubt, it tastes much better when free of radiation. Also helps wash those crunchy squirrel bits down. Otherwise, dirty water it is, and yes, I’ve drank from broken seats to stay alive. Wouldn’t you? Lots of other games feature water as a main way of healing: Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Pokemon White/Black, Harvest Moon, and Dark Cloud, to name a few.

Yeah, this has been a weird post, I know. Like I mentioned earlier, I need a drink. Ugh…