Action Adventure Review

Princess Peach: Showtime! – Review

It’s time for Mario to move over. Princess Peach: Showtime! puts the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom on stage, trading her crown for a sword, detective hat, a mermaid tail, and far more.

It’s Peach Time

Princess Peach: Showtime! sees the titular character decide to visit the Sparkle Theater. Unfortunately, things soon go wrong. A band of villains called Madam Grape and the sour bunch suddenly appear, taking over the theater.

We soon find that they’ve invaded all the stages, terrorizing the ‘Theet’ actors and taking over the plays. Stella, the sunflower-esque Sparkle sprite who watches over the theater, asks Princess Peach to help. Using the power of Sparkle, Peach can transform into different types of characters from the plays and use their skills to save the theater.

Madam Grape, the enemy in Princess Peach Showtime

The World’s a Stage

Princess Peach: Showtime! has Peach use the power of Sparkle to make her way through a wide variety of stages. Some levels involve action, some puzzles, and some minigames: it all depends on the character Peach is currently playing.

The variety of types of gameplay may be the strongest part of Princess Peach: Showtime! At times she’s transformed into a kung fu master, jumping between poles and kicking enemies. Some levels have her puzzling out ways to proceed underwater as a mermaid. We even see her baking cakes by completing minigames where speed and accuracy are rewarded.

Throughout most of the game, Peach has ten different transformations, each having at least three dedicated levels. While some are more unique than others, each one feels different. The game is structured so you’ll never be playing levels with the same transformation more than twice in a row, which helps to keep it feeling fresh. Boss levels are frequent too, slightly ramping up the tension as another break.

That said, variety does come at a cost. None of the transformations or levels involve particularly complex gameplay. Princess Peach: Showtime! is aimed at a younger audience and it shows here.

Kung Fu Peach fighting in Princess Peach Showtime

But My True Form is…

The best way to explain the gameplay may be to give a few examples.

Kung Fu Peach has powerful kicks and can jump partially high. On top of that, she can counter strong enemy attacks with the right timing. Other attack forms have their own unique abilities, but like this form, they tend to be a case of proceeding through the level while defeating enemies and dealing with some obstacles.

Dashing Thief Peach needs to navigate levels with simple puzzle elements to disable traps via switches while figuring out the best route to proceed. Using grappling hooks is a unique ability, but avoiding notice appears in other types of levels too, as can puzzles though the types differ.

Patisserie Peach has more relaxing levels where enemies can be dealt with by baking cakes and other treats. Timed minigames are used to decorate them correctly. The minigames are quite unique, but this isn’t the only type of peaceful level with minigames.

Princess Peach baking cookies

No matter the type of level, they’re all quite short and reasonably easy. Princess Peach: Showtime! can be beaten within eight hours even at a slow pace. That said, each stage has several Sparkle Gems to earn and this does add some replayability and further difficulty, though it never gets too challenging. Some are earned via skill-based tasks such as ranking well in a mini-game or hitting an enemy with difficult timing while riding a horse. Others are more about finding secrets that might require slight backtracking or activating objects in the background.

While Princess Peach: Showtime! didn’t overstay its welcome and felt like the right length, I was surprised how short it was considering it’s the same price as Nintendo’s bigger games such as Super Mario Bros. Wonder.

Swordfighter Peach in Princess Peach Showtime

A Little More

The main story has you progress by clearing four stages per floor, then taking on a boss to move onward. Every so often there’s an additional stage to find in the basement too.

Beyond that, it does offer a few more things to do.

After clearing a floor, a ‘rehearsal’ is offered, which lets you optionally replay part of the stage with an objective and target score to reach. This can actually be slightly difficult, which I found enjoyable.

Aside from that, you can buy cosmetics with coins found throughout the levels. Availability depends on optional objectives completed throughout normal levels and the rehearsals. It’s a nice bonus to be able to change what Peach and Stella are wearing if nothing special.

Cowgirl Peach in Princess Peach Showtime

Does It Sparkle?

The minimal story in Princess Peach: Showtime! is told mostly through animated cutscenes, which do look great, but occasionally seem to experience slow-down. Animation is also used for the initial transformation scenes, which felt slightly reminiscent of a magical girl anime.

Along with ten transformations come ten types of levels, which gave the themes a similar variety. I did appreciate seeing levels clearly inspired by movie genres like Westerns and Chinese martial arts movies, along with quite a few other designs. Using the theater theme gave the developers a lot of room to explore.

Performance does hold it back a little. While the FPS dropping isn’t the worst thing in the world for a game like this, loading screens can take quite a long time. This did get somewhat tiresome.

Princess Peach Showtime - Mermaid Peach Singing


Princess Peach: Showtime! offers a wide variety of gameplay in exchange for a lack of depth. Short and simple, it’s a fun adventure that anyone can enjoy but will be more suited to younger players.


Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Purchase: Nintendo Store

If you enjoy platformers, then perhaps you’d like our review for Kirby and the Forgotten Land.

Many thanks go to Nintendo for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.

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