Score 91 Game Shark: As a Viva Piñata first timer, I was totally at home right from the start. The game is pure, well-paced fun, with a great deal of variation and customization available.
Score 90 VideoGamer: The introduction of stylus controls makes for a far simpler experience, the presentation is spot on and the challenge is balanced enough for players of all ages.
Score 90 Play.tm: The visuals may not delight to quite to the same degree as the 360 version, and the view can be a little close-up at times, but new features like wi-fi animal trading, the interface, and of course the icon-based menus that are much more intuitive, make for an experience that can hold its own against the original title and will hopefully attract a few new players to the series too.
Score 90 Pocket Gamer UK: Supremely addictive and utterly charming, Viva Piñata ranks as an absolutely essentially DS purchase.
Score 90 Official Nintendo Magazine UK: This is Rare back at their best. Original, absurd and utterly addictive, Viva Pinata is a riot. [Oct 2008, p.90]
Score 90 AceGamez: Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise is anything but a loveless port. If you loved the 360 version then you’ll love this, despite the drop in graphical quality.
Score 90 Deeko: Overall, it is a fun game. Kids may need help from parents for reading. Other than that, anyone at any age can enjoy this game.
Score 90 n-Revolution Magazine UK: It’s one of the most appropriate titles on the DS, both in terms of control and overall experience. A definite must-buy.
Score 89 IGN UK: It’s a beautifully polished product and the ease of interaction immediately places this DS version miles ahead of its rather cumbersome console predecessor.
Score 85 Games Master UK: Pocket Paradise’s brilliant control scheme elevates it well beyond the original’s greatness. [Oct 2008, p.71]
Score 85 IGN: The experience can get a bit complicated as the game clock ticks on, and afterwards you may be left with a “what was the point?” attitude about it all, but for those that get simple pleasure out of tweaking their Animal Crossing towns, running around in a Sims experience, or nurturing a lifeless farm back to its former glory, Pocket Paradise is a must-play DS game, and one that fits portable gaming wonderfully.
Score 85: GamerNode: Viva Pinata’s style of play fits perfectly with the Nintendo DS model. Pocket Paradise may not look as nice as the original, but it’s the true embodiment of the Viva Pinata experience.
Score 85 Nintendo Gamer: A great port of a game that feels like it was always made to be played on the move – and with DS controls. [Nov 2008, p.64]
Score 82 Cheat Code Central: Pocket Paradise succeeds in condensing a console experience into a portable game without many sacrifices and even some improvements.
Score 82 Nintendojo: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise packs everything from the console original into a DS game.
Score 80 Eurogamer: It’s still a bit too complex to work as a kids’ game (for that you might be better with the 360 sequel’s co-op mode, where you can pick up a second pad and offer a helping hand), but for everybody else, it comes highly recommended.
Score 80 Gamers.at: Pocket Paradise is truly the Rare-franchise in your pocket. True, it doesn’t bring the same graphic quality of the console versions, but it’s still pretty playable. Besides that, the control scheme is much better than that of his counterparts. This is one DS title that can compete with the big boys.
Score 80 Modojo: Though the action in Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise comes unexpectedly and some boredom sets in, this is still a great DS game.
Score 80 Meristation: RARE built a pocket -but charismatic- paradise for the Nintendo DS with this new addition to the Viva Piñata series. Take care of some little paper-animals, cultivate flowers, and keep your garden tidy in this brilliant adaptation of the Xbox 360 game that also includes multiplayer options and a very colorful graphic engine that takes the DS to the limit. Play just five minutes and you’ll get lost; it’s incredibly fun.
Score 80: Thunderbolt: It’s a game that rewards you if you stick with it, and one that you’ll have a hard time leaving.
Score Games(TM): If you’re a massive fan of the original then you should be aware that this game is incredibly similar to the 360 installment, but newcomers should consider this essential. [Nov 2008, p.114]
Score 80 Pelit (Finland): Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise combines gardening to piñata collecting quite pleasantly. At first there seems to be almost too much to accomplish, but all too soon game play becomes repetitive. Pokémon makes better creature collecting challenge and Harvest Moon better farming experience, but Viva Piñata is nevertheless a fun experience for us who like serene gaming for a change. [Jan 2009]
Score 79 Destructoid: The world of Viva Piñata seems right at home on the DS. Despite carrying over some faults from the original and dealing with minor limitations, Pocket Paradise is a terrific addition to the DS library and in many ways improves upon the Xbox 360 version.
Score 78 3DJuegos: Piñatas jump in the dual screen in order to get into a pocket paradise which has a lot of points in common with the original Xbox 360’s Viva Piñata. Same gameplay mechanics and same characters in a very funny and well finished colorful gardening simulator.
Score 70: NintendoWorldReport: An enjoyable experience, though clearly flawed in the same way its source material was flawed.
Score 70 Edge Magazine: If Pocket Paradise makes you want to throw it against something, though, it’s only because it succeeds in making gardening compulsive. [Oct 2008, p.96]
Score 70 GameSpot: Though you won’t find a paradise in your pocket, Viva Pinata makes animal romancing fun while you’re on the road.
Score 70 Nintendo Power: Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise has all the depth of its console cousin, but is missing some of its charm. [Nov 2008, p.98]