If you liked Animal Crossing, you are almost certain to like this game.
You start off with your own little garden and a few creatures and items. If you treat your creatures well and tend to your garden, you will attract new species and new items and features to play with. Your garden also gets bigger and bigger over time.
What seems like a simple game starts to get more complex if you want (go at your own pace) as you can breed creatures, grow more exotic plants, collect different items for your garden and design a really fab landscape. It becomes an amazingly absorbing game which both kids and adults can enjoy - much like Animal Crossing in that sense.
The sound is good and the graphics are excellent. Amazing what they have packed onto a small cartridge.
on 12 September 2008
I've never owned an Xbox360 so can't compare this to the original version, but on it's own as a DS game it is cram packed full of stuff.
Building and managing your own pinata garden is a lot tougher than it looks. Keeping pinatas from splitting each other apart (unless you want them to of course), managing space, building pinata houses, and making sure sour pinatas don't cause any trouble.
But despite the sometimes rather hectic pace of things the controls are perfectly designed to help you. The interface is intuitive and the drop down menu system makes the most common tools and commands a few screen taps away.
The game also looks great. Played from an almost top down perspective the pinatas have excellent 3D models and fluid animations. The backgrounds are 2D but are really detailed and the game plays in a pseudo 3D style overall because of the fixed camera. The pinata romancing videos look to be ripped straight from the Xbox version (based on videos' of the Xbox version I've seen online) and there are even clips from the TV show included in the tutorial mode.
With a playground mode and some excellent tutorials it is a wonder the whole package managed to fit onto a DS cart.
I cannot recommend this game highly enough. It's brilliant.
on 19 October 2008
I have never played this game on any other console so can't compare but I was pretty impressed by this game.
You start off with a very small patch of garden and 1 wormlike pinata that you then breed. More pinatas will enter your garden when you have reached their various conditions. i.e some will only come if you have a certain amount of grass in your garden or a certain number of worms, so it's all a balancing act. You tempt in new pinatas, sometime by sacrificing your current pinatas as food for the new ones.
I can see how there is a lot of gameplay in this game as I have played a lot of hours and am only about 20 percent of the way through. I can also see how it is a game that I will will replay a lot as there is a lot of choice in how you build your garden and variations in breeding that it would feel like a new game with each play.
It makes me feel a bit stressed when I play it and it's not something I would play before bed. The garden can get overcrowded and an evil pinata breaks in and starts killing all your pets. I always like animal crossing as it's a game I could dip into, do a little bit and come out feeling calm and relaxed. Viva Pinata however feels much more like you are running the game and a sense of godlike power - so I guess it depends what you are in the mood for.
All in all tho this is well worth the money and it will be staying in my collection. I just bought a copy for my 12 year old step daughter for her birthday as she loves it and I can't get her off mine.
on 23 January 2010
I only bought "Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise" because it was recommended by the Official Nintendo Magazine as an absolute gem; the box art is highly misleading, tricking you into thinking that it's nothing more than yet another brightly coloured animal game for children. It's not!
At the beginning of the game you are given a small patch of broken earth that you have to transform into a luscious paradise in order to attract the local wildlife and in doing so improve your rating as a gardener. And as the cover does suggest, the wildlife is not your typical fare - it consists of all different kinds of Pinatas, all of whom require different plants, fruit, or other Pinatas in order to become resident in your garden. As the game progresses your garden's boundaries are changed, you are given access to new seeds and decorations, as well as other gardening tools such as a better watering can, a shovel that can dig ponds and the ability to build fences. At the same time, you have to be aware of untamed Pinatas picking on yours and other threats such as sickness and the 'sour' Pinatas that bring it.
A word of advice - you may think that the instructional tutorials at the beginning of the game are very bare bones, as are the instructions in the booklet. That is because the more you progress and unlock, the more you will be able to do and so the more tutorials the game will throw at you (all of which are optional if you have already figured out what to do). If you get stuck, just try different things; the game is very much open-ended. All tutorials can be revisited in the 'Episodes' section of the Menu, and if you want to try out a certain strategy you can do it in the 'Playgound', where everything is free.
Other than the fantastic gameplay, the game also has very good graphics (some of the best I've seen for the DS system) and lovely music. As a 20 year-old, I find it really absorbing and both easy to play and challenging to progress. Whilst the game is rated U, I wouldn't recommend it to very young children; there is something always happening, but they may get bored with the repetitive nature of growing things and upset when Pinatas get ill or die. However, I think the game would be suitable for children who are 7 and up. There are also three save slots in total, so this game could be shared, but be warned if one slot already exists then the tutorials do not automatically show up when a new game is started on the next one.
Anyway, in summary, this game is highly recommended. Good graphics, great sandbox gameplay, lovely music and hours of fun. :]
on 2 March 2010
Most of you probably know Viva Piñata from the children's' television series. But this time the colorful beasties came to the DS. The game originally was available on the XBox, but in pocket size it fits the DS wonderfully. You would think this game was just for kids, but my daughter was bored with it very quickly. While I couldn't stop playing!
You start off with a little plot of land, a weed infested patch with a lot of rubble lying around (in fact, looking like our neighbors garden ) After some instruction you learn to scrape the land clean, and to sow some grass. There, that looks a lot nicer.
In no time at all, the first Piñata arrives, a Whirlm (you know, the piñata name for a worm). This Whirlm is striped orange, and it doesn't require much to be happy in your garden. Just a partner and a little house are required to produce some offspring.
Lucky for you Willie the Builder can build a Whirlm house for a little money (chocolate coins in fact! I'd like them too!!) The Whirlms immediately go into romantic mode, and the next morning the stork delivers a little egg.
Having all those happy Whirlms in your garden is irresistible to the Sparrowmint, who likes nothing better than a little Whirlm snack. To be honest, the "snacking" part was difficult for me at first: the Sparrowmint has to eat a Whirlm in order to be happy, and at first I paused at that, I kind of felt sorry for the happy little Whirlm...(it gets easier after a time..) To settle into your garden it will need a house too. In this fashion you attract all kinds of Piñatas to your hideaway, the higher your gardening skills are judged, the more intricate the species will be. They all need a house, some need special flowers in the garden, or a little pond to be persuaded to stay. In a drop down menu at the side you can click on the shop to get your seeds and other stuff you'll need.
Aside from the colorful animals, the wonderfully detailed garden, trees and houses it's a great game for those who like to collect. There are 87 species to collect, and all kinds of level achievements to get. You get a ribbon for every collected animal, for every animal who's had offspring and every animal will turn a different color after having eaten one special item (like a flower or fruit). Some animals can even be manipulated into a different species altogether!
I can play this game straight for weeks, and then I put it aside for a while. It might be months later that I pick it up again, forever striving for that higher level. It's a relaxed game most of the time, and a great one for those of us who want to be in control without time-pressures.
The only thing that is missing in this game is wifi. Wouldn't it be wonderful to exchange Piñata gifts with your friends all over the world!
on 14 June 2009
I received this game for my 12th birthday recently, and I throughly enjoy playing it. The graphics are excellent, and it is quite easy to pick up from the start.
The game consists of you making a garden better, and a more vibrant place for creatures that come and live there. If you keep at it, you will get loads of different species living there. Water plants, buy houses, make your garden look as pretty as possible, and you will soon have transformed a empty, boring garden into a lively neighborhood full of varieties of the craziest creatures imaginable.
I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys games similar to this, such as Animal Crossing. This game is suitable for all ages.
on 4 February 2009
I purchased this game for a 6 year old girl who had played the original Viva Pinata on the Xbox 360. She unfortunalty does not own one of those but does have a ds so I bought this hoping it would be just as fun. Luckily on Christmas day when we started up the game we were not disappointed it is very similar. Obviously its a little trickier on the DS because of such a small screen that can make it hard to see everything and can give the illusion of having a small garden but all in all a great game for all ages!!!
on 13 February 2009
This game is really lovely to play! The aim is pretty simple, you take care of a garden and attract new pinata, eventually encouraging them to mate.
I found the graphics were really brilliant, and exactly what you would expect from a ds game, filled with beautiful bright colours. The game sounds brilliant with good music and sound effects - rain, bugs ect. The controls are super, I have not played this on any other consoles but I think the DS is perfect for this type of gameplay, using the D-pad to move the camera around and the stylus for selecting objects and pinata.
Overall I would recommend Viva Pinata to anyone who enjoyed Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon. It is slow to start but once you have a few pinata in your garden is great fun. It is taking me ages to complete which is good, I am 14 and have been going on this every evening after school for over a week now, and still I have only completed 21%, so am looking forward to progressing more hopefully tonight when I go to bed lol. I also think it is great for all ages really as I know both young and old people who have enjoyed playing the game.
on 18 September 2008
I played this game shortly on Xbox 360 and I wanted it ever since. I wasn't going to buy the Microsoft console for just one game so I was delighted to know it was coming on Nintendo DS. Compared to the Xbox the pinatas are less cute but it is compensated by more playability with a drop down screen. The game is really addictive and unlike animal crossing or nintendog, this is more challenging; when the nasty pinatas start infecting your garden with diseases, you have got to find a solution fast. Always a million things to think about, between which plants to grow, to attract which pinata without it being eaten by a pinata you have already...
Lots of hours of fun to come!
on 23 December 2009
I bought this game for my 10 year old daughter and she just wants to say that she thinks it is "really, really brilliant". She likes the names of the characters and that you can grow your own gardens for them. She likes the fact that it is not a levels game, it has no definite end so each day can be a new adventure. If she could, she'd give it 10 out of 10.