Posted by: peanutmaster | March 1, 2008

Viva Pinata – Rare – Xbox 360

Long live pinantas and their choccie insides!


With the right branding, anything can sell. If Alan Titchmarsh lent is name and happy mug to an Xbox 360 gardening game, it’d sink like a lead ornamental gnome. But put a gardening game into the hands of Banjo-Kazooie daddies Rare, and you’ve got something to sit up and take notice of.

To be fair, there is more to Viva Pinata than just growing a garden, although that is a big part of it. Cultivating soil, planting seeds, watering crops abd harvesting vegetables; to start with, all of this farming is complete tedium. Starting off with a patch of land that looks like something from Scrapheap Challenge you go about getting rid of junk lying around. Then you dig and plant, all while being observed by some highly annoying human characters with comedy accents.

Things do start to look up when a passing worm decides to move in. Very exiting. And then a cute little rabbit-thing catches sight of your plump carrots and decides to come in for a nibble. The next thing you know, it’s set up a home! These animals are your reason for doing everything in the game, exept they’re not strictly animals. Instead, they’re animal-shaped, living pinatas – paper toys stuffed with sweets. This fact makes what follows easier to swallow – like a marshmallow – and a bit more kid-friendly…

While attracting some pinatas takes nothing more than a couple of vegetables or some long grass, bigger pinatas higher up the food chain are attracted to your garden by these little pinatas. Beacause they want to eat them. Cue a garden that gets less harmonious and peaceful the more you play. One minute you’ll be admiring your Baggesicles as they forage around for food, the next you’ll be bashing a pinata round the head with a spade for trying to attack your prized Fudgehog! And don’t get me started on those sour pinatas – evil visitors who sneak across your boundary every now and then to feast on your poor little friends.


Like most games of this sort, things start off easy – although not as easily as they should thanks to the overly-complicated and confusing tutorial and clunky interface. Things are gradually introduced until you’re highlighting things at the speed of a frenzied Gordon Ramsay! It’s all too easy to go from flourishing farmer to bankrupt gardner with a bit of neglect. However, the hook of finding new and rare pinatas then inticing them to your garden is enough to keep you playing. Remember: Non-resident pinatas sometimes wander past just outside your perimeter; it’s good to keep an eye on what’s going on.

It’s almost certainly a game that not everyone will appreciate. It lacks the quick-to-use interface and detailed stats of a good management game and you are forced to watch cute cut-scenes of every pinata turning up and ‘romance dancing’. It’s a slow builder though, which gets under your skin and the Sims-esque gameplay is something the Xbox 360 has been lacking up till now. I’d never have believed there’d be a gardening game on Xbox console. Now manhunt just has to come out on Wii, and I’ll have seen it all!


Every type of pinata has it’s own personality. Some are aggressive, others passive, some ultra fussy and others only venture out for a few hours at night. Here’s just a few of them…


52-sparrowmint-mid.jpgThese are good natured bird pinatas who are easy to breed. They live in a giant nest and spend lots of time there.


No need to worry for your fences and trees, as Piñata Island Sweetooths aren’t really into property damage. However, they are voracious herbivores and waddle just a bit too slowly to evade those gnashing Sours.



Probably the dullest pinatas you’ll ever have in your garden, but they are vital to breed at the start of the game in order to attract they’re predators.



The Lickitoad will venture into your garden as soon as you build a pond.


Sour Shellybean:

Arggh! It’s a sour pinata! Be careful, he’ll try to steal your seeds! Don’t worry though – as soon as you tame him, he’ll help rewmove weeds!



Much is made of the Mousemallow’s hearing and the edge it provides against predators. Then again, it has no escape plan beyond ‘run’ – and for Syrupent and Kittyfloss families to thrive, sacrifices must be made!


The King of Animals is a firm believer in the class system. Potential homes must be of sufficient worth and contain Doenut and Zumbug subjects (i.e. meals). As the ultimate big cat, it also has some dog issues.



The dusk-loving Badgesicle always looks for gardens where other night-dwellers will keep it company. By all means welcome it in, but don’t be surprised if it tucks into some of your smaller (and cuter) species



You’re unlikely to find a more visibly, unreasoningly happy Piñata than the Barkbark. To get best results, take everything you know about canine likes and dislikes and put that knowledge into practice here.



 Famous for being easily led and not the most dynamic species, the Goobaa is still a useful addition to any garden. Its requirements are straightforward, its wool valuable, and it’s far too neurotic to start any trouble



The tragic figure of the Pigxie, a magical product of Piñata crossbreeding shunned by its parent species. Give it a new home a safe distance away, and work on raising your garden value to make it feel special.


Viva Pinata is an inventive new game, with super cute graphics and a very long lifespan. My favourite part is dressing up your pinatas in false teeth and comedy hats! Yes, the gameplay is slow and can be repetitive, but it’s just so addictive!


If you likd this game, try Pokemon: Diamond/ Pearl



  1. thanks for tellin me how to get dat lion thing

  2. your site is goood, thanks i have a rorio now ty [ thank you]

  3. hi

  4. hello, and thanks for your comment. Im glad we helped 😀

  5. Great tips.

    Im looking all over for a site that talks about rares. Like the Jeli. Im 95% done with the game on DS, but yet have the miners or diggerlings… ect. I have 2 pinatas missing, including the dragon. UGH!! I cant figure out what the other is.

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