In Piñata, the players compete to collect the colored candy inside the piñatas. Playing pieces that might otherwise be "cubes" are instead wooden markers with a bow-tie shape that mimics the shape of wrapped candies, coming in five different colors. When a player has collected enough candy of a given color, he earns the medal card for that color, and the first player to earn three medal cards wins.
The players play their cards next to several mats on the table. Players usually play their cards on their side of the mats, but they may sometimes play on their opponent's side, a move that can ruin their opponent's plans.
Piñata reimplements Balloon Cup – while adopting the designer's initial theme for the game – with the most significant rule changes being the addition of wild cards, the removal of a three-for-one token exchange, and a revision of the card values (but not the card count within each color).