Princess Peach: Showtime finally gives Peach her standing ovation

princess peach showtime nintendo
Princess Peach: Showtime is a great Mario spin-offNintendo

It’s been some years since we last had the opportunity to kick some Goomba butt with Princess Peach as the sole protagonist, with Super Princess Peach on the Nintendo DS showing us all that it’s not just Italian plumbers who can save the day in this universe. It’s about time then that Nintendo gave us that chance again, especially after the character's turn as a pretty fearsome hero in last year's smash hit movie.

Princess Peach: Showtime isn’t your average platformer, though. Utilising all of Nintendo's creativity and willingness to play with the formula, it pulls in inspiration from across the series to offer something fun, accessible and totally unique – if maybe a little too easy for some.

princess peach showtime nintendo

On her way to enjoy some of the Mushroom Kingdom's finest performances on stage at the Sparkle Theater, Peach and the theatre of Theets are attacked by Grape and her Sour Bunch – a new Big Bad to the franchise. Thankfully, Peach is more than up to the task, with a nifty ability to change look and abilities on a whim.

Each level is its own themed stage, and really leans into its aesthetic with that signature Nintendo flair – happy to show the sticky tape and rough wood holding up each set design as the spotlight follows you across the stage.

Peach’s transformations are always exciting too, lifting her high on a podium as she suits up superhero style into whichever facade is called for by each particular play. From Cowgirl Peach riding horseback and using a lasso to tackle foes to Chef Peach recreating dauntingly complex giant cakes within a time limit, there’s something different around every corner and some tricky boss encounters to keep the interest up.

It’s not a complex affair, however. Most actions are covered by the same buttons and Peach can take a lot more damage than her red-suited paramour, making for a much more boiled-down and less challenging experience.

But when you consider that this game is aimed at the younger Mario fan as well as the creativity displayed elsewhere, we weren’t bothered by this at all. Princess Peach: Showtime is a fun experiment, giving you a little slice of many different genres and settings.

princess peach showtime nintendo

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Early on, you’ll move through an arena as Ninja Peach – and it’s the little touches on display here that really make the game sing. With the stage light on Peach as she explores, you’ll use wooden props to hide in tall grass, use a bamboo shoot to breathe underwater, and sling to walls while holding wallpaper to blend in.

With so many transformations available, you’ll inevitably have your favourite. And while you might find some a bit too similar to each other in spots, being able to switch from swordplay, to baking, to solving crimes as Sherlock Peach is a commendable effort.

Collecting everything each stage has to offer is a neat challenge too, with Sparkle Gems littered throughout your journey as well as costume pieces to expand Peach's wardrobe while she’s enjoying some downtime off stage.

You’ll need to double back and look a little harder for the pieces you’ve missed, and with each level offering a fairly lengthy run-time, there’s a lot of replay value to be had here for those that crave unlocking everything in the game.

princess peach showtime nintendo

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Boss battles are one of Princess Peach: Showtime’s biggest triumphs, giving you a unique challenge each time. While, again, they’re not the most difficult, they’re also not the straightforward quick-time event or button-mash that you may expect from the outside. You’ll need to remember patterns and work out each weakness to come out unscathed.

Princess Peach: Showtime is a fun and extremely varied adventure that serves as not only a great spin-off from the Mario franchise, but finally giving Princess Peach another chance in the limelight to shine like the star she is.

It may be a fairly simple and straightforward experience, but there’s so much to see and do, and it’s hard not to suggest this to Nintendo fans of all ages.

4 stars
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Princess Peach: Showtime! is out now on Nintendo Switch.

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