Viva Piata locations a brutal lens on late-stage capitalism •


When Uncommon created Viva Piata it was a cute game for the Xbox 360 to rival Pokmon. It shipped, wholesome and lurid, with each and every new 360 for generally the console’s entire lifespan and spawned a co-operative play sequel, Difficulty In Paradise.

Which is an apt name simply because even though I really like my boyfriend and am glad he desires to join in playing with me, he is nowhere close to as superior at Piata wrangling as I am and I am possibly going to have to sell him for chocolate coins. Welcome to Piata Island, exactly where you will discover out what you are genuinely produced of.

Viva Piata is fiendishly difficult, with the premise getting that you plant particular flowers or create garden characteristics to attract cooler and cooler Piata to your garden. You can play it as a slow, sweet exploration game, but it does not reward you for that. It recognises relentless, precise brilliance and speedy action. It is perhaps the only game exactly where the sort of enterprise psychopathy preached on Huel-primarily based wellness retreats outdoors San Francisco will in fact function.


You start off off in the game by inheriting some land – which is sort of treated as a practically nothing and as if this is a fair beginning point but, let’s be actual, this is some bougie startup stuff. You then get provided your major weapon and the game’s accurate dark heart: a ruddy fantastic spade.

Of course, nominally, this is for digging good small holes to place beautiful flower seeds in to support them develop. Bullshit. The pretty 1st issue you do with it is beat your aggravation at under no circumstances obtaining lived up to your parents’ expectations out on the dirt of your garden, which strangely renders you coins – a pattern that will continue.

Yes, in principle you are a gardener who just desires to make the loveliest space – but you are gardening in a society. And that society is the hyper-capitalist planet of Piata Island, which runs on money not good flowers.

Though the good flowers are worth money – every thing, in reality, has a cost, from piata to pinecone.

The 1st islander you meet, Lottie, is a capitalist by way of and by way of. Each time you stroll into her shop, the game implies you are getting lightly mugged-off and she tends to make no secret of it or her wish for cold, difficult chocolate money. Or, as 1 of her dialogue lines says, slightly melty money she’s not fussy.


Then there is the builder who openly rips you off, and a tinker who you have to bribe to in fact do his job, the bored, furry teenager enslaved in her parents’ pet shop, and innkeeper Arfur, who gives a menu service of garden labour from a dingy neighborhood tavern. And Gretchen, a sort of contract kidnapper for Piata.

As a gardener, you can make considerable wealth. As soon as you have morally reconciled to hawking something you personal for just a lick of coin, genuinely practically nothing in the village is out of attain to you.

Just so extended as you retain momentum, by functioning evening and day and harrying your assistants, piata and fruit trees by hitting them with your spade or force-breeding them to sell their offspring. Or force-breeding them to make a massive workforce that relentlessly creates make for you. The breeding issue is quite dark, even prior to you add the weird pornographic glimpses into the piata homes that show them at it.

But like the nouveau riche yuppies of the 90s, you will under no circumstances really be amongst the upper echelons. In a blunt visual metaphor, Piata Central looms above the island, in the clouds, sending down crates they demand you fill with your piata, so they can beat them to death at a celebration. It earns you revenue but you will under no circumstances get an invite.

Down on the ground, you are pretty probably to have to beat some of them to death your self. It tends to make the other individuals satisfied when the sweets come out. And satisfied piatas are worth additional.


It appears incorrect, at 1st, relentlessly beating these creatures you have lured into your garden with an appealing show of poppy flowers or possibly the guarantee of a scrumptious morsel you have worked your arse off for and had to get the fucking tinker and make a fence round the poison ivy so none of the other utter dumbasses consume the clearly poisonous issue. It may possibly look morally undesirable to forcefully breed them in a factory programme so that you can sell their young children, immediately after creating them fat with happiness on the sweet innards of much less higher-worth piata. It may possibly make you flinch that even the undesirable piata squeak sadly in the moments prior to you smash your spade into them for the final time. And it possibly really should.

But, effectively, the game does reward you for it. You possibly consider shooting persons is incorrect IRL but it really is how you win Contact of Duty and so, also, you have to play the game of dead-eyed VC startup cruelty in the garden.

‘Your gardening is improving’ becomes the panacea to all types of ruthlessness as you get levels and your when lucrative empire of ladybird production is discarded for sweet, sweet yak money.

I’ve been playing Viva Piata for additional than ten years. I know the inner darkness of the game effectively adequate to preserve up a operating commentary about my moral decay more than the course of my horrible actions and, like some sort of horticultural Jeff Bezos, I know how to be effectively evil.


Perhaps the most harrowing moment across the games is when Ivor the beggar enters your garden, exposing the much less privileged side of the island by just level four. You can spend him to leave – or you can spend him 1000 coins to set up a shop for exotic things in the village.

1000 chocolate coins is much less than the profit from promoting two moderately unhappy toads. So it really is a no-brainer – but it tends to make the game’s premise clear from the start off. To succeed, you never genuinely will need the greatest garden.

You never even will need the finest piata, even though levelling up to attract the additional high priced ones is a massive bonus of course. There is only 1 way to make it rain in the cruel, capitalist planet of ornament-bashing, and it really is Scrooge McDuck-style, promoting one more ladybird to let the sweet, sweet coins flow.


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