Princess Peach: Showtime! brings the beloved character to the main stage

It’s been a long time coming for Princess Peach to take the main stage in her own game. In a world where characters like Captain Toad and Luigi have their unique spin-off titles, the hype after the Super Mario Bros. Movie has certainly helped build hype for a title that fans of the Mushroom Kingdom cast will either love or hate, depending on their expectations. The game does put Princess Peach front and centre, even if it, unfortunately, feels like an array of mini-games that wear quite thin after a few hours.

It’s not all bad though, Princess Peach is such an endearing character and it is rare to see a Mario game infused with such colour and sparkle. Even off the back of the incredibly detailed Super Mario Wonder, Princess Peach: Showtime! feels like a natural successor for the series. 

Take the Stage

The premise is fairly simple here, Peach received an invitation from a group of yellow creatures with adorable noses otherwise known as Theets, to attend the Sparkle Theatre. Instead of a planned matinee, the theatre is taken over by an evil sorceress named Grape and her wicked Sour Bunch minions. It’s now up to Peach and the guardian of the show Stella, who transforms into a ribbon that Peach wears in her hair, to defeat the Sour Bunch in each setting and restore the theatre to its rightful owners.

Each stage has a different setting and is based on various themes and mechanics. One moment you’ll be recreating your childhood fantasy of Disney On Ice skating around as a Princess, helping some poor farmers harvest their crops, solving mysteries as a detective, whipping out some Kung Fu inspired by Just Dance and wrangling a lasso as a Cowgirl. These levels are set out as traditional sidescrollers that do have a certain 3D element to them, which keeps it in line with current Switch Mario titles. 

Controlling Peach is fairly straightforward, and each level gives you a bit of a tutorial to get your head around what to do next. One of my favourite levels involved a chef’s outfit with an Overcooked vibe, and it was a bunch of fun. The controls were a little challenging and it took some time to master it perfectly. You have to ice cookies and decorate cakes with a guide on what it should look like, and while the results were hilarious, it did take a few goes for me to master it.

It is little touches like this that make the game endearing for anyone over the age of 15. That being said, while it does have these moments, there are times in which the gameplay does dip into slightly more simplistic territory, in which levels can feel a bit tedious.

Cowboy Peach

In each level, you need to collect sparks and coins to progress through the level and unlock the next. Coins can be used to buy more costumes and outfits for Peach and to switch up colours for Stella. Purchasing these only adds to the overall aesthetic of the experience, as they don’t add any extra working features to your characters. These are easy enough to find that I didn’t need to go and replay levels to complete them all. But depending on how you want to play, this can be seen as a good or bad thing.

In addition to this, there are time challenge levels and special areas where you need to rescue Theets. This is again amongst the more challenging parts of Princess Peach: Showtime! and is spaced out to be a challenge worth diving into. 

While the Nintendo Switch is definitely at the end of its lifecycle, there are moments when Princess Peach: Showtime! truly shines. The cut scenes are not too fantastic and are quite basic, fortunately, both broader level design and finer details are rendered gloriously. Each stage is adorned with loads of colour and life and uses typical theatre backdrops with the characters and items at the forefront creating a striking visual effect, that helps remind you that this is meant to be a theatre show. 

This game is still targeting a younger audience. While most of us have been waiting years for a solo Princess Peach game, the intended audience of younger Switch owners will enjoy this colourful romp through a vibrant theatrical world. The villain rarely poses a threat, and there is no real motivation as to why she doesn’t like the theatre or wants to take it over, so ending the game on the final boss was a little anticlimactic. 

Final Thoughts

Princess Peach: Showtime! is a great jumping-off point for solo titles centred around the Mushroom Kingdom’s favourite Princess. The attention to detail of each level and character design fits with Nintendo’s unique visual style and is a perfect follow-up to Super Mario Wonder.

It’s great to see more Mario characters getting their time to shine in something that doesn’t seek to clone the traditional Mario games. While all the mini-games don’t exactly work as intended, they do offer some variety for all kinds of gamers to get something worth diving into in part. It certainly has its challenging moments, but is squarely aimed at a younger audience that hopes to grow with Princess Peach games as they do.


Highlights: Varied mini-games; Fun for each person; Looks great on the Switch
Lowlights: Easy gameplay, Not enough levels to feel like a full game
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Available: Now

Review conducted on Nintendo Switch OLED with a code provided by the publisher.