Viva Piñata is a multimedia franchise spanning over video games and television. The game franchise is overlooked by Rare, and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows, and THQ for the Nintendo DS.
Originally developed for the Xbox 360, and also later released under the Games for Windows brand, Viva Piñata is a simulation of a Piñata farm. The player has control of a garden and can plant trees or plants, attract wild Piñata, romance tamed Piñata and fulfil requests from Piñata Central. The game includes a RPG-style levelling system, in which the player gains experience for filling the Piñata Central records book - containing information of Piñatas and plants. The game has no mission structure and is entirely open-ended, leaving the player to play at their own pace.
The second game in the franchise veered away from its past, instead taking the form of a mini-game collection. The game plays out a Piñata competition - in which Piñatas are chosen to participate in races and challenge events. Challenge events include eating apples, painting floors, squashing ants and hitting Professor Pester - all in the aim of gaining the most candy. It was the first game in the series to have online play, and allowed 4 people to play against each other in competition.
Developed for the DS, Pocket Paradise is a re-imagining of the original Viva Piñata. It contains a very similar structure, but a very different leveling system. As well as this, Rare fine tuned many aspects of the game for use on the DS. The romance dance mini-games were removed, plant fertilizer and romance candy became harder to acquire, and shopkeepers have harder requests (often requiring more than chocolate coins). Pocket Paradise introduces 7 new Piñata to the franchise, which can also be found in Trouble in Paradise.
Trouble in Paradise
The first true sequel to the original game, Trouble in Paradise allows 4-player co-op and introduces 30 new Piñata to the mix, as well as 2 new locations - a desert and arctic area. The game also has Live Vision camera support, allowing the player to scan in Piñata cards and the Piñata will appear in their garden, making swapping Piñata between people easier. In the storyline, Professor Pester has stolen the Piñata Central records, and they require you to build them back up by rebuilding the database just like the original game.