Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise - DS/DSi

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Viewed: 3D Isometric, Scrolling Genre:
Simulation: Virtual Pet
Strategy: Management
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rare Soft. Co.: Microsoft Game Studios
Publishers: THQ (GB)
Released: 5 Sept 2008 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC U, ESRB Everyone
Accessories: Rumble Pak compatible, Wireless DS multi-card play

Summary

Every now and then, a game will turn what you thought your console was about on its head. You thought your 360 was a machine for shooting aliens, racing cars and kicking footballs around, didn't you? Well, thanks to Rare's Viva Piñata series, it's for gardening and raising cutesy cardboard animals, too.

Like the first game, Trouble in Paradise is all about tending your garden and creating a masterpiece. If you get it right, with the optimum balance of plants, flowers, veg and features, you'll find all manner of bizarre little critters such as Preztails, Fudgehogs and Squazzils. As more creatures come to your garden, life will get more and more complicated as a complex ecosystem emerges, just like the dog-eat-dog world of the real garden.

New to Trouble in Paradise are a handful of new features. First up, we have the addition of two new areas - the Dessert Desert or frosty Piñarctic. Players can head off to these areas to snare piñatas they won't find naturally in their garden, such as a Pengum, Flapyak or Vulchurro. Also new to the game is co-operative play for up to four online or for two locally: ideal if you don't want to tend your garden alone.

Also thrown in for good measure is Piñata Vision. This makes use of the Xbox Live Vision camera to bring new piñatas to your garden. In a nutshell, if you get your mitts on one of the cards you'll be able to flash it at the camera, which will scan it and introduce the new guys and other features to your garden.

Gardening has never been so cute!