Thursday, 15 May 2008

Time for another review methinks

It's because I'm bored and there's nothing to do for 8 more hours until work. Anyway, I think it's time I talked about a game that didn't involve mindless killing and destruction for once. Viva Pinata. Note: Though the killing and destruction is infact there, it's more childlike, and nothing actually dies.
Viva Pinata is a sandbox game in which you make a garden for a load of paper mache animals to come live in. Sounds boring? You'd be wrong. And shut up. The game is surprisingly addictive. Remember when The Sims first came out and you spent your days playing that, doing the same things over and over? This is the same. You clear the junk out of the garden, plant some grass, get upgrades on tools, build houses and plat seeds, sell things to buy more things, and get animals to move in. Then you get your garden expanded, and you o the same, but with more space. But the key mechanic of this game is that it's fun. It just goes to show that you don't need guns and dead bodies to make a game fun.
While we're on the subject, if a Pinata does 'die', the paper mache splits to splatter sweets onto the ground, which the other animals come to eat. While that's happening, the paper mache bits float in the air, and reform outside the garden boundary. I found this a fun way to cover up the fact that your child's prized worm just died. It also allows you to technically 'kill' the same thing many times, which could be quite satisfactory.
There was a time in the game when I didn't think about selling the random bits of fruit to make some money, and spent all my time mating my worms and birds. Everytime you try to mate two pinatas, you have to go through a maze mini-game, where coins litter the place. You can get up to 20 coins each time. This meant that there was A LOT of incest in my garden, as I was saving up for a lamp so a moth could move in. This kept me amused for a while as I realised it was a kid's game and I'd just destroyed the innocence of it.
That, and the penis shaped pond didn't help.

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