Pin It

The Player 

by Marty Demarest & r & & r & Viva Pi & ntilde;ata:360 & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & V & lt;/span & iva Pi & ntilde;ata is a game about pi & ntilde;ata, meaning it's a game in which 5-year-old players can bash the main characters to death and get away with it. A sickly cheer even rises from their confetti ashes. If I'm lucky, a few pieces of candy will remain behind on the grass.

Whacking is almost Viva Pi & ntilde;ata's only genuinely pi & ntilde;ata-related activity. During most of the game's interminable cycle of days and nights, I'm busy ordering the construction of new pi & ntilde;ata houses, going shopping, growing flowers, giving chocolate coins to charity and fending off attacks from evil pi & ntilde;ata.

Pi & ntilde;ata in Viva Pi & ntilde;ata are wild animals covered in fringed crepe paper. They creep from the countryside surrounding my garden and poke their beaks, noses and snouts in to see what I'm growing. If they like what they see, they stay and become my tedious responsibility.

Some, such as sparrows and spiders, are helpful residents, playing a part in the tiny food chains developing among the game's plant and pi & ntilde;ata life. Others, such as foxy pi & ntilde;ata, are obviously included for the cute and entertaining factor and not much else. Some are trophies like elephants and others are pests like slugs. A few whacks from my trusty shovel decide whether they stay intact or not.

Occasionally, a place known only as Pi & ntilde;ata Central requests one of my pi & ntilde;ata to be destroyed as the guest of honor at a party. I duly ship them off, collect some chocolate coins in payment and then inexplicably greet them when they return, unbashed.

I can also sell pi & ntilde;ata I've raised, making much of the game about the pursuit of sex. Any player who hasn't yet encountered the topic of where babies come from will need an intervention by the time a few pi & ntilde;ata have started doing what the game calls "the love dance."

The cycle of breeding, eating and being bashed to pieces is short, better to accommodate a kid's attention span. No overly complex food chains seem to be needed to draw new, more daring pi & ntilde;ata into my garden. I simply need to keep breeding and feeding the ones I have.

THE GOOD: Viva Pi & ntilde;ata is one of the best-looking games on the 360. Every object in the game is crafted and shaped, covered with unique textures and animated with care. The color scheme is carefully managed to make each pi & ntilde;ata distinct, and to draw my attention to changes in the landscape from across my garden. Credit for this goes to Rare, the game development studio that was once the prize of Nintendo until being purchased by Microsoft and forced to make games like Viva Pi & ntilde;ata.

THE BAD: Life slows down to a crawl in Viva Pi & ntilde;ata's gardens; perpetual fussing is required to move things along. Pi & ntilde;ata won't breed without help, and plants require digging, watering and whacking just to complete their lifecycles. On top of that, screens full of text periodically interrupt the gardening with announcements about the game's fiddlier elements. Even in a hodge-podge game like this, the interruptions keep me from ever feeling that I've achieved anything more than putting a few seeds and pi & ntilde;ata together.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Die, Viva Pi & ntilde;ata, die!

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Buried in the Headlines
  • Buried in the Headlines

    Big stories largely ignored by the mainstream media
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • A Sense 
of Détente
  • A Sense of Détente

    In only two months, the seemingly intractable battle between mayor and council has turned into an exuberant truce
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Not Green Enough
  • Not Green Enough

    State says no carbon exemption for Spokane Waste-to-Energy Plant; plus, settlement reached in Priest River high school football concussion lawsuit
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks

Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks @ Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

Thu., Oct. 27, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Defending North Idaho

    Why Heather Scott must go
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • The Do-Over

    After failing to pass a bus service tax hike last year, Spokane Transit Authority has a plan to get you to vote for it again
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


green zone


trail mix

Readers also liked…

  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • The Virtue of Renee
  • The Virtue of Renee

    After a homeless woman was run over while sleeping outdoors, her family grapples with the events that led her there
    • Mar 11, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation