Generally favorable reviews - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. 85
    And although Rare is not presenting anything remarkably new, it has added nearly everything many gamers found missing from the previous game, thus creating the definitive Viva Piñata experience.
  2. There's no trouble in this paradise: The second Viva Pinata is just as captivating as the first, with enough tweaks and new additions to make this great for everyone.
  3. Utterly charming, downright cute and one seriously enjoyable game that players of all ages can enjoy. As far as sequels go, this one doesn’t reinvent but the new content is worth the purchase price and even more so if you missed it the first time around.
  4. The sound in Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise is particularly good, and I really enjoyed the classically-inspired score. The relaxing orchestral tunes really provide an excellent catalyst for creativity and definitely help you feel like creating a piñata masterpiece.
  5. Viva Piñata retains its child-like charm, but the content is layered with deep strategies and entertaining gameplay that can suck anyone’s life away.
  6. 90
    Even without some of its improvements, Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise would be a solid sequel, but the more user-friendly gameplay, online features, and variety make it better in nearly every way.
  7. The whole is deep, compelling, personal and capable of so much incidental humour and charm.
  8. 80
    Despite some irritating design elements, Trouble in Paradise is a fun game that retains the charm of the first Viva Pinata. It's sort of like trying to hit an actual pinata while wearing a blindfold-you'll be frustrated at points but it's still pretty awesome.
  9. If you're looking for a game to play with a less-experienced sibling or spouse, you could do a lot worse than Viva Piñata. It's playful, charming (assuming you ignore the grim potential inherent in the idea of sentient piñatas), easy and simple enough that even young players can pick it up with ease.
  10. It might not have as many improvements as other sequels can boast, but it's still a solid game that I think everyone can enjoy.
  11. 100
    If you hated the original, Trouble in Paradise isn't going to change your opinion. If, however, you somehow missed out completely on the piñata party the first time around, I implore you to check it out now -- it's certainly much deeper and more addictive than its playful visuals would lead you to believe.
  12. Don't let the colours put you off. Viva caters for the hardcore to the casual - ie, everyone. [Nov 2008, p.78]
  13. But for more serious pinata fans, as well as newcomers to Pinata Island, Trouble in Paradise is nearly flawless.
  14. A sequel with a suitably Darwinian focus on simple refinement. [Nov 2008, p.100]
  15. 80
    Underwhelming when viewed in the context of its predecessor, Trouble In Paradise gets so many things right it cannot be dismissed.
  16. Even if there were room to experiment, a few dozen animals aren’t sufficient to lure back veteran gardeners for long, and newcomers are bound to wonder why life on the island is so needlessly difficult. In the end, Trouble in Paradise proves to be aptly named.
  17. Although the formula is very similar to the first title, the sheer number of extra elements makes it fun to collect all those piñatas again. [Nov 2008, p.98]
  18. Although this sequel could be labelled as Viva Piñata +, in that it more or less builds on the original rather than doing anything drastically different, it's still an absolutely must-own Xbox 360 game.
  19. Trouble in Paradise is a really interesting sequel to the already remarkable Viva Piñata, although we were expecting more new features. The only excellent characteristic that Rare have added this time is the online multiplayer option, a fantastic addition that will allow us to help others with their gardens and the other way around. An addition that might not be that tempting for the occasional piñata caretaker, but certainly it will be essential for the most enthusiastic players.
  20. Online integration, what I think is the most fascinating new feature of the game.
  21. Like many sequels, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise excels at adding additional content to an already workable premise, but fails at properly expanding on the core experience beyond the original.
  22. Pure fun, nice graphics and a good sound go side by side with a charming gameplay.
  23. What looks like a kiddy game for some gamers, may well be serious business for others. And that's the case with Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. With an upgraded interface and a lot more Piñata's to choose from, this sequel is more than worthy of his predecessor.
  24. The lack of downloadable content or a custom piñata creator is disappointing, but the card content will suffice for now. With the numerous improvements and its bargain price, Trouble in Paradise is one party you shouldn’t miss.
  25. Life is pleasant in Pinata Island, and this time it’s even better. Rare took the garden-pinata-simulator and upgraded it at every possible level: better visuals, more creatures, a great coop mode, and several new features to decorate our place. With a much better tutorial at the beginning and the incredible Pinata Vision, Trouble in Paradise is the best simulator for Xbox 360, and everyone can enjoy it thanks to its simplicity.
  26. 70
    I can’t help but feeling that, while a good deal of effort has gone into enhancing the essential Viva Piñata experience, the limitation of things I can put in my garden when there is so much on offer really does kill my buzz.
  27. TiP is a unique, genre-bending title that may not be for everyone, but it pulls off what it intends to do masterfully. Its combination of creativity-encouraging gameplay, irresistible characters, and the addiction of crafting the absolute coolest garden—all complemented by candy-colored visuals—serve up hours of piñata-fueled fun.
  28. A clever cross between life sim and silly little collecting game with a lot of fun online party action thrown in, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise will appeal to a hell of a lot of people, thanks to its superbly created and welcoming open world.
  29. If this is your first foray into the VP world then you’ll love it, but for those of us who were waiting for a true sequel, we’d best be more patient.
  30. Attempts to open up Viva Pinata kind of miss the point. Whether this is a failure in marketing or development is anyone’s guess, but adults will still have fun.
  31. Here comes cooperative multiplayer – the “family fun” at its best. Sequel to colorful strategy game brings lots of improvements unfortunately many of them are only cosmetic changes. [Oct 2008]
  32. Addressing virtually every complaint we levelled at the first game, the stronger structure, more developed concepts, and extra features undoubtedly make for a better game, but we suspect it's a game that will only really appeal to fans of the original.
  33. If you loved the first one, this sequel will sure keep you busy and entertained for a long time. Still on the fence? Rent it but give it a serious look this time around, it’s a far better game.
  34. It’s cute, approachable by all, and most of all its addicting and creative gameplay can get its hooks in you pretty deep if you let it.
  35. The gameplay is about the same, but fans of micromanagement and virtual pet care will thoroughly enjoy it. Co-op mode is fun as well, in case a frustrated player needs a hand from a parent or a buddy.
  36. Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise doesn't change much from the first title in terms of originality, but the new additions definitely make it feel more refined.
  37. Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise is a must buy for fans of the original and newbies alike as the game will please those piñata collecting needs.
  38. A lot has been done to improve the minor problems from the first game mainly the pinata intelligence and the general control of the game.
  39. The formula from the previous game is intact in this overly cute followup to Rare's first Viva Pinata game, so you won't find much news to be exited about. But online co-op, 30 new pinatas and a whole slew of other new features is still enough to make this game worthwhile. This is one of the most harmonious and family friendly games out there for the Xbox 360. A definite recommendation for fans of the genre.
  40. It is clever, smart, and once you get into it, damn addictive.
  41. 80
    Viva Pinata 2 doesn't bring anything revolutionary to the table as a sequel, but it does fix most of the first game's problems and add some features that many felt should have been in the first game to begin with.
  42. It doesn't change a whole lot, but improves on most of the weak spots from the original. The most fulfilling and fun title in the series yet, and as a bonus, it's playable by the whole family.
  43. 91
    TiP is a confident and well realized evolution that leaves the way open for more sequels. If/when Microsoft release a motion controller this game is already well positioned to become a masterpiece at the flick of a patch.
  44. Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise is – quite embarrassingly – one of the best titles I have played this year.
  45. Viva Pinata was a great game with an interesting and addicting gameplay direction, but Trouble in Paradise is a great reinvention of this title, not quite a complete sequel, but Rare proves to us that there is still a lot of life in this to experience and cater for.
  46. Trouble in Paradise offers everything the first game did--literally--with a heap of new content and enough streamlined gameplay mechanics to get even an experienced gardener's green thumb back into action. And if you never tried the original game, first of all, shame on you. Second, go play this one.
  47. Swallow the shame of buying this and you'll own one of the 360's finest. [Dec 2008, p.94]
  48. Teaching your piñatas tricks, playing co-op with a friend, romancing piñatas, having the ability to trade piñatas with players online and much more make up countless reasons to pick up and have a wonderful time with one of Rare’s best Xbox 360 titles to date.
  49. Some people might be surprised by the high score given to this game. However, when you look at the whole package, you have a second game in a series that brings improved gameplay, better graphics, and many additional features—all for a lovely $39.99 retail price point.
  50. Without a doubt this is one of the top games for the Xbox 360 console and should definitely be included in every 360 owner's library.
  51. This title is certainly not as big as the other titles coming out later this year, but it’s very solid in its own way.
  52. A great gardening/breeding game that improves upon the original in many ways, but maybe not enough to justify you paying full price.
  53. If you didn't enjoy the first Viva Piñata, then Trouble in Paradise isn't going to turn you around on the matter. However, if you were an avid fan of the original, there's every reason you'll still be in love with this series.
  54. Viva Pinata 2 takes all the good stuff from the first part and adds some more pretty thoughtful new features that make it even more fun to play. A very well-made sequel!
  55. For the gamer who is looking for a different type of entertainment, Viva Pinata Trouble In Paradise fills in a huge gap in the Xbox market, a great single player game, even better in co-op or online mode.
  56. It's hard to improve upon a solid game when making the sequel, but Rare has done that and more with Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise.
  57. Trouble in Paradise manages to improve the previous game and not much else, and is intended to the true piñata fans.
  58. If you have not played Viva Pinata, then it's most unlikely this release will do anything to change your mind to the contrary. If you expressed an interest but did not make the plunge the first time around, I would highly recommend this as your first foray due to all the excellent additional features included.
  59. Trouble in Paradise only suffers in that it feels like more of an expansion pack to the previous game. Yes, many of the improvements help the overall experience and it still offers the same incredibly addictive gameplay, but there’s the niggling feeling for piñata experts that we’ve seen and done a lot of it before. Of course, if you’ve never played the original, then bump that score up to a nine.
  60. Viva Piñata is a very peculiar game, hardly attractive to the casual player. Even so, it’s charm and the way it reveals the game’s complexity seduces the players looking for something different. A few game modes ease this sequel for the younger players, the game’s main target. [Oct 2008]
  61. 86
    Less a sequel and more the definitive version, you can't really go past Trouble in Paradise if you've got the Viva Piñata bug.
  62. Unfortunately the final experience feels exclusively created for folk stuck in a confined area with a lot of spare time on their hands and few other recreational options. Like, say, in prison.
  63. While still pretty and all, Trouble in Paradise doesn't move forward enough to warrant a purchase if you've played the previous ones.
  64. 80
    It may not stray far from its roots, but thanks to a cornucopia of on and offline treats Rare's one-of-a-kind garden sim gets our recommendation once again.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Feb 3, 2013
    Despite its cutesy look,which is utterly charming,there's a hardcore sim underneath the surface to rival the likes of the Total WarDespite its cutesy look,which is utterly charming,there's a hardcore sim underneath the surface to rival the likes of the Total War series.There's a hundred hours of absolutely addictive gameplay here that never plays the same way twice and will certainly remain in my top ten games for the long,long time.P.S-Keep a journal for your next playthrough.A must have. Full Review »
  2. Oct 21, 2010
    This game is brilliant. Just For Fun eases new player into Pinata island and normal gardening mode will challenge the veterans. ProfessorThis game is brilliant. Just For Fun eases new player into Pinata island and normal gardening mode will challenge the veterans. Professor Pester and his ruffians makes your gardening more of a handful. I really don't understand how anybody could rate this lower than eight? A must-have Full Review »
  3. Jan 18, 2013
    The original game is back but this time there are about 30 more Pinatas, Multiplayer, Co-op, new mini-games, harder romancing, and actualThe original game is back but this time there are about 30 more Pinatas, Multiplayer, Co-op, new mini-games, harder romancing, and actual difficulty! There is nearly no avoiding a ruffian attack, and with new items and requirements to obtain Pinatas it's a whole lot more of what made the first game great. With the ability to take pictures, trade Pinatas online and with the Xbox Vision Camera, the game is a stronger, longer, and more challenging title that will put your gardening skills to the test.

    The Humor is back as well as your favorite characters and the humor. The only real problem is that you need to do everything again which feels tedious, but past that the game is longer stronger and overall better.
    Full Review »