Upon its release in Q4 2006, Viva Piñata was nominated for a whole swag of awards. With its quirky, colourful characters and flexible, innovative gameplay it promptly found favour with younger gamers - thanks in no small part to a tie-in animated TV series of the same name. Initially developed for the Xbox 360 by Microsoft’s Rare (Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero), the PC conversion was placed in Climax Group’s capable hands, and the result is a game which is every bit as good as the original.
You can control the game via an Xbox 360 controller for Windows, if you have one, or simply use a mouse to drive the foolproof point and click interface. Either option works well, so it’s really just a matter of personal preference. For an in-depth look at Viva Piñata’s credentials check out our original Xbox 360 review.
If you’re already familiar with the game, however, rest assured the PC version remains unchanged: as a novice gardener you are given a small plot of rocky, junk-ridden ground on Piñata Island to develop into a prime piece of piñata real estate. The ongoing goal is to attract piñatas to your garden paradise and convince them to become permanent residents, multiply and earn you money with which to upgrade their environment. Viva Piñata’s open-ended, sandbox style of play offers the freedom to develop your garden as you wish; experimentation is encouraged – and often rewarded.
The game looks and sounds every bit as good on the PC as it does on the Xbox 360, and provided you have enough grunt under the hood it runs like a dream. All in all, Viva Piñata has made a smooth transition to PC and at under $50 it’s a bargain; guaranteed to provide you and the kids with hours of cutesy, creative, candy-filled fun.