REVIEW: Princess Peach: Showtime! (2024)

It’s been nearly twenty years since this princess has had her own solo game (which I haven’t had a chance to play), but being a huge Nintendo fan, you bet your bottom dollar I was stoked for Princess Peach: Showtime! when it was announced during the last Nintendo Direct. And the theme being described along the lines of “Shakespeare meets Nintendo”? Sign me up! So, without further ado, let the review commence.

Princess Peach: Showtime! begins with the usual simple premise of Mario universe games. One day, a loyal Toad presents Peach with a flyer advertising a show at the Sparkle Theatre. The group arrives only to have the experience thwarted by Madame Grape and her Sour Bunch! On top of this, Grape has also stolen ten sparkle sprites, which are in dire need of rescue. With the help of Stella, Peach sets off to perform in plays featuring various talents, from figure skating to sword fighting, baking, and jiujitsu. Each play has its own self-contained story, with the main plot of each being that something or someone is either broken or stolen, and the protagonist must save the show. I also love how this game uses Theets instead of the usual Toads and the Sour Bunch in place of Goombas or other typical Mario enemies; it’s a fresh, new change and just as enjoyable as the classics. 

Princess Peach: Showtime

The art and graphics are my absolute favorite parts of the game; everything is so vibrant and fun! The setting gives off the old-fashioned early 20th-century theatre/opera feel that is truly enchanting. The theatre is surprisingly big, with five levels total and a basement floor, hosting twenty plays altogether. All of Peach’s outfits are unique and well-designed, and still very feminine, which I personally appreciated.  You can also customize Peach’s main gown with various patterns you unlock when you complete a play or buy new looks at the shop on the first floor. Stella’s ribbon can be customized as well, so you can match with Peach, which I thought was a nice touch. The attention to detail in the theatre production is spot on, too, with the wooden cutouts and enemies having strings attached to glide them across the stage and a spotlight that follows Peach wherever she goes. The little details when Peach can interact with certain objects, like making a tree bloom or lighting a lantern to get hidden coins or her little foot tapping to the music in the baking plays, are a very charming, too. Much kudos to the developer, Good Feel!

Princess Peach: Showtime

The gameplay is a fun mix of side-scroller and simple brawler with Mighty Peach, and a dash of platforming, too, particularly with Dashing Thief Peach, with those plays daring escapes using a hook shot. The main goal is to master all ten transformations, which are not like the typical power-ups. You don’t lose them if an enemy bumps into you or vice versa. My favorite transformation in this regard is definitely Ninja Peach, which features scaling up walls and hiding from guards with camouflage disguises. The baking challenges with Patisserie Peach reminded me of Mario Party mini-games, and I had a blast making cookies and decorating cakes before the time ran out. I also very much love how the game allows you to pick whichever play you want, choosing between the easy-going sleuth, leisurely figure skater, to fast-paced sci-fi hero, depending on what you feel up for. One negative, though, is that the frame rate, mainly with the loading screen (I play on my OLED), drops for a few seconds, but it didn’t hinder my overall enjoyment much.

The musical scores in Mario games are fantastic, and Princess Peach: Showtime! does not disappoint in that regard. There are many fun and quirky themes and even the more foreboding pieces in the big boss fights. The opening prelude is my personal favorite since I’m a sucker for a lovely piano melody. Each song is very much in theme with their respective plays and adds to the general ambiance. 

Princess Peach: Showtime

Princess Peach: Showtime! could easily be beaten in a day or two, but I personally wanted to prolong it so I could really get immersed in each play’s plot. My favorites were the Detective Peach ones, which, while simple puzzles, are still enjoyable to use the “Strike of Intuition” to reveal a suspect. And the setting of a Victorian city makes them all the more appealing to me. Difficulty-wise, this game is certainly not the most complex, but during a handful of the plays, such as the Figure Skating, Ninja, and Cowgirl levels, if you miss certain jumps, you’ll not get the sparkle gems and cannot backtrack to retrieve them unless you redo the whole stage again, and some are a decent length. I definitely missed a good handful during my first play-through, but I still found it enjoyable to go back and hunt down the hidden collectibles. 

The biggest highlights for me are the bosses at the end of every floor. My favorites are Light Fang, where you have to avoid the spotlight stare unless you want to be reserved back to your original starting point, and Purrjector, with its Cheshire Cat-like design and attacks that are actually not as predictable as assumed, which, in the end, makes for a fun and satisfying battle. The final boss even has its challenges, particularly having to avoid many projectiles; if not timed right, hitting them can take down your health before you know it. 

In conclusion, Princess Peach: Showtime! is a charming game that anyone can play and enjoy, with solid replayability, fun bosses, vibrant colors, and dynamic sets. I very much enjoyed playing as Peach for the first time in her own solo game and look forward to any more Nintendo makes in the future! I will also add that this game is a perfect gift for a daughter, granddaughter, niece, or that special lady in your life (ahem, gentlemen), and there are even a few aspects (I’d bet Mighty Peach in particular) that may tempt a few guys to play, too! 

Princess Peach: Showtime


Princess Peach: Showtime!

Gameplay - 9
Difficulty/Length - 9
Story - 9
Graphics - 10
Sound Design - 10



For any Nintendo fan! A fun, light-hearted romp starring Princess Peach, performing in various shows to safe the Sparkle Theatre from Madame Grape and the Sour Bunch.

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