Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. The most surprising part about Viva Piñata is that once you've gained higher levels of experience, you keep them. Even if you start a new garden. Which means you carry over all you coins and all the items you've unlocked during the course of your previous gardens, so you don't have to start that all over again. Killer!
  2. Never have I seen a concept so perfectly implemented that a relatively tiny patch of land has me utterly captivated. [Jan. 2007, p.60]
  3. 95
    Even though it might look like it's for kids, trust me it is for adults, too. Guys or Gals, everyone who is a gamer and enjoys games like Sims, and Harvest Moon should pick this one up. You won’t regret it.
  4. It’s simply the best kid’s game that isn’t a kid’s game that has been released in years.
  5. The ultimate sandbox game. It gives players plenty of opportunities to experiment and explore, but it also has enough meat to really attract gamers interested in strategic play.
  6. An extremely impressive balance of considerable complexity, Viva Piñata provides an experience unlike any other on the Xbox 360.
  7. The game is a lot of fun because it's not as tedious as games like Zoo Tycoon or as inane as raising a puppy on your Nintendo DS. The game strikes a good balance between managing your pets and making a buck and offers lots of fun activities along the way.
  8. Once Viva Pinata grabs you then there is no way you can escape. A bright and vibrant world surrounds a game that is an essential purchase for everyone.
  9. To hear a paper deer making sounds was one of the highlights in my gaming world for a long, long time. This should tell you something about this game, which is entirely in a league of its own.
  10. At the end of the day, if you’re willing to dismiss Viva Pinata on the basis that it looks a bit kiddy, then you’re kidding yourself out of a fantastic adventure that has already shaken Rare to its roots, thanks to the departure of two of its three founding members after poor sales of this game. Shame on you, shame on you.
  11. The overriding feeling you'll get from Viva Piñata is one of depth. It's a far more involving and time consuming game than I expected.
  12. 90
    RARE hasn’t showed as much promise on the Xbox platform as they had back in the Nintendo days, but the tide has turned, and Viva Piñata has become my sleeper hit of the year, and might very well be my personal game of the year.
  13. A brilliant unique game that has appeal stemming from every nook and cranny. Drop any preconceptions about a game that you may have from its box-art and visual style, Viva Pinata is one of the most rewarding, refreshing and important games to find its way onto the Xbox 360 this year.
  14. Tired of chainsawing Locusts? Bored of sniping Nazis? Give Viva Pinata a shot. Experiencing a vibrant world full of animals that react to every decision you make in your garden is not a typical simulation videogame.
  15. 90
    Rare has certainly recaptured its former glory itself here, and in producing one of the most misunderstood games of the year, it has also produced on one of the finest in its history, and certainly one of the most intriguing on 360.
  16. It may look like a kid's game, but Viva Piñata features more than enough action and strategy to keep even the biggest action gamer addicted for hours on end. Don't feel embarrassed buying it.
  17. Viva Piñata is more than just a game…it’s an experience.
  18. There is no other game like it and probably never will be which is a shame. It’s perfectly simple to pick up and play but also has enough depth and wonderful energy to keep you interested too.
  19. 90
    One of the most entertaining and fulfilling experiences available for the Xbox 360...There are countless ways you can design a garden, and countless ways to enjoy the game.
  20. 90
    Add in the eye-catching, and retina burning graphics, the clever use of audio cues to alert you to events and problems, the elegant control and menu interface and a design philosophy that doesn't unfairly penalize you for mistakes, and you've got a recipe for fun that's simple and enchanting.
  21. It's obviously not for everyone, but you can't deny it's charm. This is definitely Rare's best release on any Microsoft platform, and it is a wonderful game to play.
  22. Like a breath of fresh air. The gardening and raising of piñatas is great fun and good pastime for the holiday season. [Jan 2007]
  23. For something to tug on the heartstrings to the degree that Viva Pinata does is stunning. [Jan. 2007, p.97]
  24. While odds are that your little sibling will enjoy some of the game’s charm more than you, the underlying gameplay is satisfying and challenging enough to engage older players as well.
  25. There’s so much to do, so much to see and so many piñatas you can gently tap on the noggin with your mighty shovel it could keep anyone from 8 to 80 occupied until the moozipans come home.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 112 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Jan 26, 2012
    Viva Pinata is possibly the best, if not one of the best, life simulation games of all times. Conjuring up cuteness that The Sims could never handle, the graphics and animations are fluid and vibrant, and the mating dance is always a spectacle. The controls are simple and easy to use, but hard to master. Combine that with some helpful tips and a range of pinatas to bring into your garden, and you end up with a gem of a video game. If you're sick of all the shooters and hack-n-slash games, and you feel the need for some relaxing, full of depth gameplay, purchase this video game. Full Review »
  2. Sep 11, 2011
    I really laughed a lot after hearing that ViVa Pinata was getting a game adaptation .So yeah, I underestimated a game because of it's goofy concept. It turns out the game was quite addicting, everything to the charming graphics, cute animals and endearing world it's an instant victory for VP. Fun and addicting, nothing more defines this game . Full Review »
  3. Jul 1, 2014
    ''Viva Pinata'' I remember the first time that I listen about this game, the idea sounds crazy, but no really atractive to me (because I'm not a big fanatic of this kind of games), but when I saw the game, I was surprised! The graphics are so spectacular, all these colors, the characters, the music, the story, WOW, all looked amazing, and when I take the control, the fun started, the gameplay it's really simple, and that means that anyone can easily understand the game, and join to the fun. And when you start to collect all these cool pinatas the game becomes addictive!
    Definitely, ''Viva Pinata'' it's one of the most interesting games on the Xbox 360 catalog.
    Full Review »