Rainbow coloured paper animals combined with gardening-based gameplay is a curious concoction that you'd not normally associate with Xbox 360. But that's exactly what developer Rare - the people behind Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero - is germinating for the console with its newly announced title, Viva Pinata, which it plans to release this Christmas.
Described by Microsoft as a "customisable, social and spontaneous game", Viva Pinata is based on an upcoming animated TV series of the same name, which debuts in the US this autumn, and sets players loose on Pinata Island, where, besides exploring, they spend their time indulging in green-fingered pursuits.
Above: Keep your pet pinata happy, like this cute little Horstachio, by cultivating plants in your garden that they like
Rather than a mere carefree means to amble away the time, successful gardening is the key to attracting new pinata beasties to your patch. Which seeds you sow, features and ornaments you include (there will be hundreds of customisable elements) and what other pinata already reside in your island plot all impact the types of new Pinata that will come to hang out in your horticultural hideaway.
More than 60 species of irresistibly cute pinata can be found on the island, including Buzzlegums, Horstachios, Moozipans and Mousemallows. Click the images tab at the top of the page for a look at some of the delightful creatures.
Viva Pinata promises to be a breath of fresh - if almost overpoweringly Nintendo-scented - island air for Xbox 360 and, with the ability to trade and interact with other players on Xbox Live, it's an irresistible gardener's world that we're looking forward to exploring.