Let Phoenix Games cut to the chase for those who have actually played the original Viva Piñata and tell you that this sequel is bigger and better. The first Viva Piñata game looked like a kids game and unfortunately was overlooked by many gamers. Phoenix Games probably would never have played the game if not for a staff member's six-year-old daughter.
Thankfully, they did. It was a beautiful and deep game and – despite being a hardcore and lifelong gamer – "I'm proud to say I'm now a Viva Piñata party animal." They also excited to say that "Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise" leaps above even the original by keeping the same basic gameplay and adding so much more to the experience. Usually if Phoenix Games recommends a game they will wait to the conclusion of the review to tell you to try out the game for yourself but this time they can't wait – whether you have kids or you just love a deep simulation game do yourself a favor and run down to your local game shop and pick this one up. Everyone gets a second chance so if you missed out on the first version your chance for redemption is here.
For those unfamiliar with the game here is a quick overview of what the fun is all about. You have to create a garden. Now not just any garden will do. It has to be the greatest garden in the world. Now that isn't an easy feat by any means. In order to do that you have to plant vegetables, flowers, encourage animals to live in your garden, beautify and reap the benefits to build your paradise. Phoenix Games warns you now that if you are a fan of simulation games you are going to be in trouble with this game. It's addictive. "I'm considering ending this review right now and picking up the controller for a few minutes but I know it will turn into hours. It's difficult watching my six year old play while I'm craving to get my hands on the controller myself." One saving grace for this problem is the new addition of co-op play which will allow more than one player to work in your garden.