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Princess Peach: Showtime! Review - A Sparkling Gem In The Nintendo Crown

  • Easy-to-grasp controls and straightforward gameplay make it an ideal entry point for kids stepping into gaming
  • A whimsical and engaging world that's as delightful to look at as it is to explore
  • The variety of roles Peach can assume keeps gameplay fresh and engaging
  • Might not hold the attention of more experienced gamers looking for a challenge or deeper gameplay mechanics
  • Relatively short length and limited replay value might not justify the price

Nintendo Switch review code for "Princess Peach: Showtime!" was provided to Zaaz by Nintendo for this review. The game is available now for Nintendo Switch.

You've seen her kidnapped, you've seen her on the sidelines, and you've even seen her smash some tennis balls. But when was the last time Princess Peach got to be the star of her own adventure? Enter "Princess Peach: Showtime!" — a Nintendo Switch exclusive that's as delightful and bubbly as a fizzy drink on a summer day, and exactly what you'd expect from Mario's better half. "Princess Peach: Showtime!" doesn't just give Peach her long-overdue spotlight, though. It wraps it up in a bow and presents it with a standing ovation.

The premise? Simple but sweet. The Sparkle Theater is under the gloomy cloud of the villainous Grape and her Sour Bunch goons, looking to turn every play into a tragedy. Peach, with the help of Stella, the twinkly star guardian, isn't about to let that happen. What unfolds is a series of transformation-driven adventures across different plays, each with its own unique setting and challenges.

With "Princess Peach: Showtime!," you're diving headfirst into a whimsical wardrobe of wonder. Whether you're slicing through enemies as Swordfighter Peach, sneaking past guards as Ninja Peach, or solving puzzles as Detective Peach, the game keeps you on your toes with a fresh set of mechanics for each role. And the best part? It's all wrapped up in a control scheme so simple, a child could master it (and that's the point).

Kiddie Couture and Casual Fun

At its heart, "Princess Peach: Showtime!" is a love letter to its intended audience — kids stepping into the vast world of gaming. With mechanics that prioritize fun over frustration and a difficulty curve that's more of a gentle slope or bunny hill, it's the perfect gateway for the younger crowd. The game sprinkles in educational tidbits, like basic problem-solving and pattern recognition, without ever making it feel like homework.

But what about the grown-ups? Well, while there's no dedicated multiplayer mode, the game's charm and whimsy are contagious enough that you might find yourself passing the controller back and forth with a little gamer, each of you taking turns to save the day. Honestly, it doesn't even feel like a missed opportunity. A multiplayer component would likely take away from the game's goal of being accessible for younger players. If you are really needing your multiplayer fix, there are plenty of other "Mario" games that can provide that, anyway.

"Princess Peach: Showtime!" might not push the Switch to its graphical limits, but what it does with its aesthetics is nothing short of magical. Each stage, designed to mimic a theater play, shines in its creativity and attention to detail. From the flat props to the spotlight's glow during dramatic moments, you're constantly reminded of the charm and effort poured into making this world come alive.

And let's not forget the soundtrack and sound effects, which play a starring role in their own right. Each note and nuance adds layers to the game's already enchanting atmosphere, ensuring that your adventure is as pleasing to the ears as it is to the eyes.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

No game is without its flaws, and "Princess Peach: Showtime!" has a couple of them tucked in its frilly sleeves. The simplicity that makes it so accessible can also leave more seasoned gamers wanting. Detective Peach's stages, for instance, trade action for dialogue-heavy puzzle-solving, which might slow down the pace more than some would like, including the younger crowd.

The game's breezy length might raise eyebrows, too, especially considering its price tag. While it doesn't overstay its welcome, it doesn't leave much reason to revisit once the curtains close, aside from the completionist's urge to collect everything. And in a year teeming with epic adventures, "Showtime!" feels like a charming, if brief, intermission that may not be worth its weight in gold coins.

At the end of the day (or the play), "Princess Peach: Showtime!" is a solid entry in the Nintendo library. It doesn't aspire to be the next "Super Mario RPG," nor does it need to. It's a game that knows its audience well and plays to its strengths with confidence and flair.

Curtain Call

Scoring this sparkling gem an 8 out of 10 might raise some eyebrows, but it's a score that reflects both just what the game is, as well as what it sets out to achieve as a kid-centric title. It brings a smile, it brings a laugh, and it brings a bit of magic to the young and the young at heart. And in a world that could always use more joy, "Princess Peach: Showtime!" performs admirably.

As you set down the controller, maybe after watching the credits roll or perhaps after a particularly fun transformation sequence, it's hard not to feel a twinge of that joy. It feels like this isn't just a one-off adventure for our pink-clad heroine, either. Nintendo has a treasure trove of stories yet to tell, and if "Princess Peach: Showtime!" is any indication, the future is bright, colorful, and full of potential for future adventures as an entry point for younger gamers.

So here's to hoping it's not another two decades before Peach gets to headline her next show. After all, every princess deserves her time in the spotlight. And who knows? Maybe next time, she'll bring friends along for the ride.