"Viva Piñata is a life simulation game developed by Rare, for the Xbox 360 video game console. The project was headed by Gregg Mayles and the team behind the Banjo-Kazooie series, based on an idea from Tim Stamper. Although rumors of the title circulated among fans for some time, Viva Piñata was officially announced on March 15, 2006, and first released in November 2006. With a "general audiences" or "everyone" rating, the game provides bright, colorful visuals, intended to appeal to children and more casual gamers. The game received a positive reaction from game critics, despite its poor sales and pre-release advertising.
Likened to The Sims, Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, the game tasks the player with turning a neglected plot of land into a beautiful garden. As with many sandbox games, the game is open-ended, with no strict winning or losing requirements. Instead, players are guided only generally towards the objectives of increasing their garden's value and attracting piñata residents. Players are free to determine their own sub-goals and work towards them.
Developing a successful garden requires setting up the land and foliage appropriately to attract piñatas, as well as purchasing various items to place within the garden (e.g., homes for the piñatas). When certain requirements are fulfilled, the garden will attract a simple black-and-white version of a given piñata species. After fulfilling additional requirements, the piñata will become a resident, changing into a full-color version. Once two piñatas of the same species are residents and their mating (romance) requirements are met, they can perform a romance dance, resulting in a baby piñata egg. No piñata has a gender specific design, and hence any two piñatas of the same species can mate (with inter-species romances possible as well in a few cases). After a given piñata species has successfully romanced, the player no longer needs to fulfill the full romance requirements for piñata of that type, but can instead simply have the piñata eat a specific type of candy."
Source: Wikipedia, "Viva_Piñata," available under the CC-BY-SA License.