Princess Peach: Showtime! (Switch) Review: A Star Is Born

Our review of Princess Peach: Showtime!, developed by Good-Feel. Available now for Nintendo Switch.

Princess Peach: Showtime! (Switch) Review: A Star Is Born


A kid-friendly spinoff game starring everyone’s favourite perennially kidnapped royal.


It’s a lot of fun, but players should know it’s intended for kids/novice gamers.


Younger gamers, parents, cool aunts/uncles.

Princess Peach: Showtime! (Switch) Review: A Star Is Born


For reasons that never made much sense, until recently Nintendo has been playing coy about who developed Princess Peach: Showtime!. In retrospect, that’s a bit of a shame. Now that we know it comes from Good-Feel, the studio responsible for some of Nintendo’s best family friendly games such as Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Woolly World, I expect more gamers would have been excited about this release.

As it is, Showtime! continues Good-Feel’s tradition of beautifully made games which emphasize accessibility over challenge, making them ideal adventures for parents to share with kids, or gamers with non-gamers. While it’s unfortunate that Showtime! lacks the cooperative mode found in Good-Feel’s earlier games, it’s still a great entry point for gamers looking to draw in their less experienced friends/family. With lovely graphics and charm to spare, Showtime! is proof that “family friendly” doesn’t need to mean lame or boring.

Princess Peach: Showtime! (Switch) Review: A Star Is Born


While it’s been a while since Peach was last thought of as a mere damsel in distress, it’s been longer still since she starred in her own solo title. Indeed, Showtime! marks only the third Peach-exclusive title, following 2005’s Super Princess Peach for the Nintendo DS and, long before that, the McDonald’s-exclusive “game-and-watch” title Princess Toadstool’s Castle Run in 1990.

Like most of Nintendo’s characters – who remain, despite some incipient efforts at world-building over the decades, essentially blank slates – Peach’s ability to dip in and out of genres, endlessly reinventing herself, is part of the Nintendo charm. So while she may be an elephant or a bouncing balloon over in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, in Showtime! she’s allowed to be, in no particular order, a detective, a kung fu master, a ninja, a figure skater, a mermaid, and several guises more.

For you see, Showtime!, set within the confines of an imaginary stage play – not unlike NES classic Super Mario Bros. 3 – is very much a game about experimentation, allowing Peach – and by extension, players – to dip her toes into multiple genres, accompanied by costume changes and gameplay tweaks. Over the course of its eight or so exceedingly accessible hours – it’s basically impossible to lose here – Showtime! offers an enjoyable, if altogether easy, romp through various game styles.

Princess Peach: Showtime! (Switch) Review: A Star Is Born


Showtime! happily disregards most of the standard Mario Bros. trappings, barely even acknowledging the existence of Italian plumbers or anthropomorphic mushrooms. Instead, Peach is up against the devious sorceress Grape and her Sour Bunch minions, who have taken over a local theatre (evil!) and are holding the audience hostage.

Peach, teaming up with new ally Stella, must take on a series of theatrically-styled challenges, requiring her to don different costumes and, in turn, take on a diverse array of gameplay challenges. One minute, Peach might be competing in a figure skating competition; the next, she’s a detective analysing clues in a decidedly family friendly mystery. (Pentiment, this isn’t.)

None of these challenges is particularly hard, although the inventive bosses do require more attention than the rest of the action. But the point here is to play around in several different genres in a low-stakes environment, hence Showtime!‘s marketing as a kid’s game. Which is all fine and good, really, if your goal as a player is to introduce friends/family to the glory that is Nintendo game design.

That said, it really is a missed opportunity that Good-Feel failed to bake in some kind of cooperative mood. Even if it couldn’t have the full co-op of Yarn or Wooly, it realy needs a way for less experienced players to ride the coattails of someone more experienced. Sonic 2 let my kid sister play as Sonic’s sidekick Tails, collecting rings and bopping enemies without impeding my progress (in fact, it was easy to leave Tails behind, he’d just automatically catch up a few seconds later). Something like that would have elevated Showtime!, a resolutely single-player experience in which you’re likely to have to take the controller out of the hands of a junior player whenever the going gets tough.

Lack of co-op aside, Showtime! still works well for what it is, which is an accessible, easygoing adventure from the House of Nintendo. It may not pose the challenge of other Mario or Mario-adjacent titles, but then that’s the point.

Final score: 8/10 spotlights

Visit the official website for Princess Peach: Showtime! here.