Sure, it's all smiles and cuteness now. But then comes the cannibalism and inbreeding...
Viva Piņata is a video game series developed by Rare. It is primarily a Mons farm Simulation Game. The player takes on the role of a Piņata Gardener on Piņata Island, a world of animated Piņatas all styled after various animals. The player is presented a ruined patch of dirt and tasked with terraforming and expanding it into a Piņata Garden, which is part zoo and part ranch. The player begins by attracting Whirlms, simple worm piņatas. You breed them, sell some offspring and use others to feed to wild Piņatas to attract new types to your garden, or send them off to parties to make money. This gives you cash to improve your garden further, which unlocks more options and attracts more piņatas, following a food chain. It's a sandbox game, but the ultimate goal is to attract all 60 (100 in later games) breeds of Piņata to your garden and become a Master Romancer (i.e., breed them like crazy), for every single species.The series includes Viva Piņata (2006), Viva Piņata: Trouble in Paradise (2008) and Party GameViva Piņata: Party Animals (2007) for the Xbox 360, as well as Viva Piņata: Pocket Paradise (2008) for the Nintendo DS.The series was a Sleeper Hit on the Xbox 360. Microsoft wanted the game to be its answer to Pokémon, but it didn't work out. Why? Well, the game looked like a children's game but actually comprised challenging Sim management tasks that kids just couldn't handle. At times, the games dip into Nintendo Hard or Guide Dang It, with the in-game Exposition Fairy actually lying to the player at points to mislead them. The original game was also launched with a tie-in animated series (featuring Talking Animal Piņatas throwing parties) that wasn't even slightly representative of how the games actually play (although occasionally a reference to a game mechanic is made, and is even the main plot point of a few episodes). The game was also much more morbid than it seemed at first appearance, with a food chain of Piņatas killing each other and feasting on their candy innards being required to progress in the game.
Boring, but Practical: Many "utility" Piņatas, though not flashy, provide valuable services to your garden. Things such as the Taffly's ability to make fertilizer, the Cluckles' ability to quickly hatch eggs, and the Buzzlegum/Goobaa/Moozipan providing a steady stream of income (if properly accessorized) are useful, if not fancy.
Com Mons: Whirlms. They only require there to be dirt in your garden. They're followed by Sparrowmints, which only need Whirlms. If you leave your game sitting for a while and there's enough room left, you'll eventually have two of both in your garden.
The Computer Is A Lying Bastard: Many of the things Leafos says when selected are false (e.g. the way she claims certain Piņatas transform is impossible), and some of the things she decries as ridiculous are true.
Cue the Flying Pigs: Leafos that you will be able to tame sour mallowolves the day Rashberries fly. In order to tame them, you need exactly a flying Rashberry.
Leafos claims that "Bart has a soft spot for Fannie." Younger players assume that Bart has a crush on the post office girl. However, the game was made in Britain, where "fanny" has a completely different meaning...
Pocket Paradise had a little fun with the stylus and shopkeepers. "Don't touch what you can't afford, my friend!"
One episode Paulie Preztail causes several distractions, one of which he dresses as a balloon stripper for a few seconds. Seriously!
Gluttonous Pig: The Rashberry species. In order to romance them, they need to eat several items that have gone rotten. If they eat a hunk of cheesecake, they transform into warthogs.
G-Rated Sex: Piņatas dance with each other, which causes eggs to be dropped of by Storkos.
Griefer: Ruffians will smash your possesions, cough up toxic candies, fill your ponds with dirt and run off with your gardening staff just for the sake of it. They will go away if you give them money, thought.
Heel-Face Turn: Sour Piņatas will convert into their regular counterparts after their resident requirements are met.
Honest John's Dealership: Costalot, to an extent. While she's definitely greedy, she isn't quite at the "Sell her own grandma to make a quick buck" level some Honest Johns are. She does occasionally slip and call you a "money bag" and say other things that are vaguely insulting, though.
I'm a Humanitarian: Piņatas eat candy. Piņatas are full of candy. If you break a Piņata open, you can feed its candy to another Piņata. Even if it's from a Piņata of the same species.
Or their parents, as shown by the VG Cats comic linked in the article's YMMV tab...
Their INBRED parents. They'll dance with anyone!
In-Universe Game Clock: The clock simulates daily cycles. Diurnal and nocturnal Piņatas are awake at different times.
Moral Dissonance: According to the game's manual, being broken open at a birthday party is some kind of life-fulfilling orgasmic experience for Piņatas. In your garden, however, being broken open is the closest thing to death in the Piņata kingdom. This is not helped by the fact that one ad for the game began with a disclaimer for "disturbing imagery" only to show smashed Piņatas, and the Rare logo displayed when the game starts may randomly show a Fudgehog panicking in the face of a baseball bat before being whacked.
Multiple Head Case: Twingersnaps, whose waiting animation involves the heads attacking each other.
Late in the game you are able to buy items which keep Dastardos and Professor Pester away from your garden, thought.
Non-Lethal K.O.: Piņatas never die, technically. When they're broken open, they re-form in their original monochrome appearance outside your garden's borders. They're still as good as dead to you, though.
Palette Swap: Each Piņata has three colour variants obtainable by feeding them a certain object.
Patchwork Map: Trouble in Paradise has two new terrain options that can be placed wherever the player chooses - tundra and desert.
Imagine scorching the furniture when you sit on it. Imagine having to move every few seconds because if you don`t, the ground underneath you sets alight. What kind of life is that? Who is responsible for this?
You get Reddhotts by setting Tafflies on fire and then dousing them.
Seedos calling you a bully for taking his seeds with force. Later Subverted Trope, as Leafos says you are making Seedos stay fit by running away from your garden as fast as possible.