Princess Peach Showtime – Game Review

Princess Peach Showtime

(available for Nintendo Switch only)

Princess Peach Showtime is the second in a series of Mario spin-offs that are coming out, for what is probably going to be the final full calendar year for Nintendo Switch. I say that because, at the time of this review, Nintendo has not announced its plans for their next-generation console.

This game is the second game to feature Princess Peach in the lead role- she had previously been the main character of the DS game Super Princess Peach, which I personally wasn’t a huge fan of, but I know a lot of people have a lot of nostalgia for that game.

Showtime has an interesting concept for its premise. Peach travels to Starlight Theatre on an invite to see several plays, and a Witch takes it over, after that, Peach and her friend, a sentient ribbon called Stella, are to fix all of the plays and Peach will then assume the lead role. This is how you get the different costume types, and there are two costumes in total. There’s Ice Dancer, Mermaid, Space Superhero (which is a play on Power Rangers), Cowgirl and Ninja, there’s a good selection here.

This game is in 2.5D, but you’re mostly going to be playing from right to left since the levels are all designed to reflect plays on a stage, so you’re looking at it from an audience perspective, and a lot of the items move as if they’re being moved by stagehands. That’s an interesting new take from an idea that’s been done already- it was done in Paper Mario: 1000 Year Dawn and in Super Mario 3, but this is the first time they were completely literal with the play aspect.

There are 10 costumes for Peach, and you’ll do three levels for each costume, so there are 30 levels in total, not including the boss fights. While the gameplay varies between costumes, the game only uses the analogue stick and two buttons for each playstyle, so you don’t have to learn a lot of movements. The game also gives you the ability to check out a hint when you need it, like if you’ve forgotten the controls.


  • Gameplay

I’ve already talked about how I think the game is good for young kids since it’s very simple in terms of controls but also gives a good variety of gameplay, but what I think is genius is how much they mix it up. If you’ve only played the demo, you might think you’re only playing a mini-game collection as Chef Peach or a simple Beat Em Up with Swordfighter Peach, but that’s not the case. The variety of gameplay actually surprised me. For example, Detective Peach levels have you using the action button to solve these mini mysteries that you’re involved in, and Ice Dancer Peach offers momentum-based gameplay, and in Mermaid Peach levels, you have to use your singing voice to control fish to solve a puzzle.

I personally think that variety of gameplay kept me going in a big way. The other good factor about it is that whilst each level of the Sparkle Theatre will give you four levels at a time, they also would do a good job mixing and matching of returning to old costumes on your second costume or trying out something new.

None of them really annoyed me, the only one that didn’t do quite as well for me was Dashing Thief Peach since I found that the gameplay in that one was quite similar to previous level design with other costumes.

The levels are repeatable, you won’t necessarily need it, but you collect these green stars in order to open the Boss Doors, though you won’t really need to go out of your way for extras.

The levels also contain coins to unlock new early-level and overworld outfits for Peach, and you can also unlock them by saving the Ribbon Man in every level. The game will also give you some new cosmetics for your little companion, too.

Overall, I think this plays very, very well.

  • Graphics

For all this talk about the Switch ageing, I think that this is a very good-looking game. The resolution isn’t always the best, something I particularly noticed when playing in handheld mode, which is where it seemed to struggle. But overall, I think that the game is good to look at.


  • Game Length

I’m putting this in mixed because I think this will vary from person to person and could be quite contentious. Princess Peach Showtime is not a long game, as I mentioned before, you have a few boss fights plus thirty levels, which aren’t extremely long. Without trying to get 100%, you can beat this game in about 5-6 hours. I managed to beat this thing within a few days of picking it up. I didn’t think that the game needed to go on much longer since this feels like a proof of concept rather than a complete idea, however, I do think people might not think it’s long enough given the £50 price tag.

I’ve been playing a lot of long games recently so having a shorter one that allowed me to dip in and out at my leisure was actually kind of refreshing, and I like when Nintendo makes these lower-budget games. However, I understand why people wouldn’t want to pay this price for a game that will last less than 10 hours.

  • Boss Fights

The boss fights aren’t bad, they are actually kind of interesting and enjoyable and do provide a bit of extra challenge, but what bothers me is the fact that they don’t use the costumes. They do involve some interesting ideas, for example, one boss that involves hiding from a spotlight to reach a certain area, and if you’re found by the spotlight, you’re sent back to the start of the obstacle course.

However, they don’t always feel creative, which is weird considering how creative the rest of the game is.

  • Difficulty

None of the levels really challenged me, but this is clearly a game aimed at very young kids because it’s not difficult in any sense of the word. I barely lost any levels; at worst I lost 10 coins a couple of times. If anything, the only one that gave me a bit of trouble was Chef Peach since I overbaked some of the sweets during some of the mini games when I got too cocky with how many extra points I could get. Plus, the cake-making mini-game was a bit of a challenge because of how fast the cake moved, but I realised after a while you could get away with a lack of precision there.

If you’re coming to this game expecting any sort of challenge or difficulty, I would urge you to lower your expectations.


  • Frame Rate Issues

Princess Peach Showtime doesn’t have a major issue with the frame rate, but it was definitely noticeable sometimes. Weirdly though, it wasn’t as much in the gameplay (I noticed it here and there but was mostly in handheld mode), but it was mostly in the cutscenes which are pre-rendered, which is really surprising. Again, not a major problem, but overall, it’s not great that it’s here at all.


Princess Peach Showtime is an enjoyable experience, even if it is quite short. It certainly has its issues, but if anything, it reminds me of the first Luigi’s Mansion- which people forget was quite a limited experience that was mostly made to show off the GameCube’s technology, and Luigi’s Mansion wasn’t fully realised until the third game. So personally, I wouldn’t mind if Princess Peach Showtime were to become a fully-fledged spinoff to the Mario Games. The gameplay was enjoyable, I thought the costumes were very good and I would love to see some expansion upon them, and it ran great despite some framerate dips.

While it’s not a complete throwaway, it won’t amaze you, even if you’re going for 100%. I think this would make a good game for playing on trips to work, or on a long train journey.

It’s a good game and I would like to see it expanded upon a bit further.

Calvin – Nerd Consultant

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The Next Axia29th May 2024
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