Viva Piñata can best be described as a family-friendly wildlife and gardening sim, but it can be summarized by just one word: addicting!
Viva Piñata puts you in the role a budding gardener on Piñata Island, where you start with a small patch of dirt and are tasked to construct a garden as you see fit. You will be greeted by a girl named Leafos, and soon you will meet her brother Seedos, as well some of the other denizens of Piñata Island.
Despite the story being incredibly shallow, you’ll find that you don’t miss the lack of detail. In fact, you may find yourself skipping over the brief story elements just to get back to tending your garden. Viva Piñata is driven by the gameplay, not the story.
The gameplay in Viva Piñata is incredibly simple, but it allows for a huge amount of customization and can become challenging when trying to manage the various aspects of a fully-grown garden. As the gardener, you have full control over the types of groundcover in your garden (dirt, short grass, water, etc.), you have the ability to plant, water, and fertilize plants and trees, and you can buy and place various items for your garden, from decorations to homes.
Of course, the main focus of Viva Piñata is to attract wild piñatas to your garden to make them residents. Piñatas will come visit your garden of their own free will, assuming of course that your garden meets their standards. This can be as simple as wanting a small patch of grass, or as complicated as desiring numerous requirements that depend on the types and quantities of plants, piñatas, decorations, and other things in your garden. Once a piñata is attracted to your garden and becomes a resident, it’s there to stay, unless if gets eaten or killed, which can occur fairly often. Let’s face it, some piñatas are tasty, and many wild carnivorous piñatas will come to your garden to snack…
Once piñatas are residents of your garden, you can work on having them romance and breed, you can equip them with accessories, feed them fruits and other food, or just enjoy their amusing antics. For completing various tasks, such as cultivating new plants or breeding piñatas, you will increase your gardener level, allowing you to attract more impressive piñatas and winning you improvements to your shovel and watering can, among other things.
Honestly, I’ve only touched on some of the aspects of Viva Piñata. There’s so much to do in this game that it is easy to get lost in the gameplay for hours on end. You’ll find yourself trying to justify completing one more task, which can easily turn into you working on a string of things you never intended to finish. Viva Piñata is fun, addictive, and compelling.
The graphics in Viva Piñata are bright, colorful, and vivid, and they really contribute to the fun and cheerful mood of the game. Little details, such as the fact that you can still see tags attached to many of the piñatas, really enhance the cuteness factor. In particular, the antics of the various piñatas, which in many cases are quite subtle, give the game an endearing quality that will appeal to kids and adults alike.
Similarly, the sounds in the game are perfect. You’ll find yourself endlessly amused by the sheepish neighs of the Doenuts, or the cute sighs of the Elephanilla. The music is well designed such that it fits seamlessly into the background of the game. Even after hours of playing, you won’t find yourself annoyed by the score, which is quite an accomplishment in a game of this type.
Viva Piñata is a game that has no real ending, and given it’s addictive nature, it’s a game that you may end up putting far more hours into than you could ever have thought possible. Given the fact that Viva Piñata is currently available online in many places for under $10, it’s an outstanding value and definitely worthy of a spot in your collection.
Viva Piñata has 50 of the most varied and fun to get achievements of any game you are likely to find. With achievements for everything from naming piñatas and hiring helpers to achievements for dedication to piñata breeding and horticulture, you’ll find that Viva Piñata’s achievements give you something extra to strive for in the game. Of the 50 achievements, 49 are obtainable in about 25 hours of play, while the last requires you to play for a full 50 hours to achieve.
In fact, in a game like Viva Piñata that has no real ending, the achievements do a good job of not just letting you know how long you should keep playing, but also when you should consider stopping.
Viva Piñata is a cute, fun, addicting game that is suitable for gamers of all ages and mindsets. It provides countless hours of fun for anyone willing to give its unique type of gameplay a shot. Highly recommended!