If only all dead animals were filled with delicious sweets. Believe me: we’ve checked.
Published in The Student, University of Edinburgh’s oldest student newspaper
Are you too, scared of scary games? Is the reckless media coverage of horror giving you the willies? Well calm down and don’t worry. Come with me and let me take you to my garden.
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise marks the return of RARE’s surprise gardening hit and boy, are they are happy to be back. Seriously, they just can’t wait to show you.
From the moment you’re handed the shovel the adoration begins. Plant and grow a carrot – alright! Here’s a carrot badge! Hey, you’ve attracted a visiting piñata; let me take you to him with a dynamic sweep of the camera. You know, if you satisfy his simple needs, well he might just take up residence here. Huh? What’s that sound? Why that little fanfare of trumpets signals his decision to stay and live in your garden. Congratulations! Here’s a new watering can.
One good turn deserves another; and each successive step you make is matched with some sort of reward. The game is just brimming with positive reinforcement for your actions while convincing you that it is not just empty praise.
And there’s always something to do. Be it tending to general gardening duties to fulfilling the needs of your piñata pals by creating their ideal home away from home, filling them with joy and candy, until they are maxed out and ready to be sent away to children’s parties all around the world.
The inclusion of a guide who issues challenges helps stave of the feeling that you are aimlessly gardening with no end in sight. Coupled with the easily attainable nature of these challenges, the game quickly fosters a ‘one-more-go’ mentality – something that you should be scared of.
I quite depressingly found myself awake at 4am staring glassy eyed at the screen, carefully landscaping my garden – which doesn’t exist – in order to attract more Mousemallows – which don’t exist – as I had spent all my chocolate coins building them a hickory-dickory-dock clock tower to sleep in. Still, at least there is not a zombie in sight.