Viva Piñata

8.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Controls: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10

Lots of pinatas to lure to your garden, lots of ways to improve your garden

No story, no end

Game Info

Game Name: Viva Pinata

Developer(s): Rare (Xbox 360)/Climax Group (PC)

Publisher(s): Microsoft Game Studio

Platform(s):  Xbox 360/PC

Genre(s): Strategy

Release Date(s): Xbox 360 November 9, 2006/PC November 6, 2007

ESRB Rating: E



Raise these pinatas…so little kids can break the crap out of them!

Welcome to Piñata Island.  It is up to you to create your garden and cultivate the best piñatas you can!  Be a simple Whirlm or the elusive Chewnicorn, it is up to you to get them in your garden.  It won’t be easy but with helpers, you can do it.  Just look out for the Sours and the Ruffians!

Viva Piñata was an Microsoft exclusive released in 2006 for the Xbox 360 and in 2007 for PCs.  The game plays like a Sims game with you just watching over the piñata as in your care.  It was seen as a kind of Pokemon type of game (got to catch ’em all!) and was also released as a cartoon.

What is fun about Viva Piñata is all the clever piñatas and it is a bit of a challenge to get them to come to your garden.  There is a weird sense of excitement when a new wild piñata visits and you get the announcement.  Then it is up to you to provide enough wetland, tall grass, etc. to get them to come and stay.  Sometimes it takes specific plants or other piñatas will attract them.  There are also the enemy piñatas you can choose to ban (with you Tower of Sour) or tame them to make them less evil.



It is kind of like a Facebook game in that you can be pretty proud of your garden.  You can decorate your piñatas with accessories and make them more valuable.  If you play online and trade and send piñatas to other Viva Piñata players and friends (there are also downloadable packs to increase your population).

One of the oddest facets of the game is that to get your piñatas to “do the dirty deed”.  Mating piñatas make more piñatas to sell and can create new varieties of piñatas you already own.  It shifts you into a mini-game when you connect with another turned on piñata and you have to steer the piñatas through a maze to complete the mating process. This is a bit weird for a family friendly game but it literally can teach the kids about the birds and the bees.

Complete list of Piñatas in the game:


A day in the garden

Arocknid, Badgesicle, Barkbark, Bonboon, Bunnycomb, Buzzenge, Buzzlegum, Candary, Chewnicorn, Chippopotamus, Cinnamonkey, Cluckles, Cocoadile, Crowla, Doenut, Dragonache, Dragumfly, Eaglair, Elephanilla, Fizzlybear, Fourheads, Fudgehog, Galagoogoo, Goobaa, Horstachio, Jameleon, Juicygoose, Kittyfloss, Lackatoad, Lickatoad, Macaraccoon, Mallowolf, Moozipan, Mothdrop, Mousemallow, Newtgat, Parrybo, Pigxie, Ponocky, Pretztail, Profitamole, Pudgeon, Quackberry, Raisant, Rashberry, Reddhott, Roario, Salamango, Shellybean, Sherbat, Sparrowmint, Squazzil, Swanana, Sweetooth, Syrupent, Tadfly, Twingersnap, Whirlm, White Flutterscotch, and Zumbug

With all these Piñatas to capture, it is a game that you can play for a long, long time.  You won’t be blowing up buildings or fighting through zombies, but Viva Piñata is its own fun.  So grow your garden and get those pinatas…it can be oddly addictive.  Viva Piñata was followed by Viva Piñata:  Trouble in Paradise, the Nintendo DS game Viva Piñata:  Pocket Paradise, and the party game Viva Piñata:  Party Animals.

Related Links:

Viva Pinata:  Trouble in Paradise

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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