Princess Peach: Showtime! review

by on March 21, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

March 22, 2024.


There is so much to enjoy about Princess Peach: Showtime. From the glorious colour to the smallest of details, it feels as though Nintendo has thrown the kitchen sink into Peach’s first solo adventure, and for better or worse, while it’s a loveable game with something for everyone, it doesn’t always stick the landing.

The basic setup for the game is that Peach has gone to a show at the Sparkle Theatre, but it’s been immediately ruined by a baddie called Grape taking over the entire theatre with the Sour Bunch gang, making twisted plays out of the what would be otherwise lovely experiences featuring Sparkla. Peach quickly meets Stella, the theatre’s guardian, and the two go from floor to floor, sharing their powers and fixing the plays with Peach in the starring role.

In some ways, Princess Peach: Showtime feels like a combination of the 2D Mario games, but with a heavy dose of Kirby thrown in, and the clearing of each floor also reminded me of Luigi’s Mansion. There are four plays on each floor, which culminate in a boss battle, and there are a total of three levels for every transformation that Peach can make.

Princess Peach: Showtime!

And it’s these transformations that are the main hook, and the star of the show, along with Peach herself. In true modern Nintendo fashion, it’s as though no idea has been left on the cutting room floor. You’ll start off transforming into Swordfighter Peach, and will slash at enemies as you platform through the play’s lushious backgrounds and charming characters. The combat is basic, and the entire game is based on two buttons, with the transformations changing what those buttons do. As Swordfighter Peach you’ll face off against bigger enemies that require you to hit the jump button to enact a precision dodge. The timing window is friendly, so although you can mess up and take damage, you probably won’t.

Kung Fu Peach is introduced later, and is a more refined version of Swordfighter. Ninja Peach is another twist on a similar idea, instead focusing on stealth and movement, and it’s early on you start to see the tiny moments of attention to detail that really elevate the game. As Ninja Peach you can hide against any background and Peach will put a piece of paper in front of her that blends in. It’s not even always necessary to do this, but it’s there, and it’s adorable.

Cowgirl Peach is a highlight, again mixing melee (sort of) combat with platforming. Faster paced, you will swing your lasso around, ride a horse, and get your cowgirl on. Dashing Thief Peach pushes this further still, with hacking, stealth, and some really fun platform sections that require you to grab hooks and move around levels with no floors.

Princess Peach: Showtime!

Patisserie Peach is interesting, because it’s the most accessible of the transformations. Initially a very sweet and interesting idea, as you play more of this outfit, it becomes a bit one-note. It’s certainly one I can see a younger audience loving, but similar to Detective Peach (think Detective Pikachu but in shorter doses) it’s pretty slow paced, and likely to be something that looks nicer than it is to actually play.

And that’s a long way of saying some transformations are more successful than others. Levels vary in length but if you’re grabbing all of the sparkles you can find hidden in the plays, you will spend ten minutes in some stages. The boss fights are entertaining and creative, as well, though I do have some concerns about younger fans playing these levels. While you can chat to a theatre-goer who will give you more than the five hearts you would normally have, it’s more about the dexterity required for some of the stages. The difficulty sits somewhere right in the middle, where it’s almost too easy for veterans of platform games, but it might be a little too much for younger players.

Princess Peach: Showtime!

It’s also worth noting that there’s some very “un-Nintendo” like polish in spots. While you can slide down the bannister on each floor as Peach, despite there being no real need to, this attention to detail isn’t quite there when it comes to the loading screens. Some levels take a tiny bit too long to load, and the background will freeze and spin, and it just seems a bit off. Likewise, when you finish each play a “thread” will disperse from the floor, eventually leading to the boss door, and it seems like it’s dropping frames. It might be a design choice, but it stands out in an otherwise polished adventure that really does have so much attention to detail.

It’s lovely hearing Peach say “Peach time” at the start of the stage, and despite longer levels, once you’ve played the first of each type, your time is never wasted. There really are some brilliant, clever ideas on show within the design of the stages, and the whole thing really commits to the play-aesthetic, even including the sound you’d hear when a play starts as a level finishes loading.

Bar a few issues, this is pretty much a triumph for Peach’s first solo adventure. It isn’t going to leave your jaw on the floor like Super Mario Bros Wonder did, but it’s a worthwhile way to spend your time, with some unique ideas, and clever design. Some transformations are better than others, but Princess Peach: Showtime is just a lovely way to spend the time for anyone willing to give themselves to it.


Clever level design that looks fantastic
Nice storytelling
Great fun


Long loading times
Some transformations aren't as fun as others

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Princess Peach: Showtime is a lovely time full of clever ideas, and a great way for Peach to make her solo debut.