Viva Pinata

Sept. 21, 2007

If you've played this on Xbox 360, you're in a select group of… not very many. Despite being a genuinely great idea, it was simply on the wrong console at the wrong time.

So former Nintendo stalwarts Rare are bringing the concept to an audience that should be a little more appreciative of this sort of thing, and it isn't a significantly stripped-down version, either. The handheld Viva Piñata promises to play the same on DS as it does on Microsoft's slightly more powerful home console.

The object of the game is to attract colourful paper-based animals into your personal garden. By tending the garden and growing the right type of plants, different animals can be encouraged to appear.

It's very Nintendo-ish, with hints of Pokémon and Animal Crossing, yet very much its own beast. Since the animals are all piñatas - paper models filled with sweets - they can be smashed open with a shovel when you get fed up of them, spilling their tasty treats all over the ground. And the smashing isn't simply for cruelty's sake, as evil "sour" piñata animals will visit at night and attempt to mess things up for you. There's also online trading and loads of different objectives to try, in what's sure to be a DS hit. We'll have more on Viva Pinata in the near-future.


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