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Review

Princess Peach: Showtime! Review 

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2024, so far, has been a big year for video games, with some absolute bangers having been released in just three short months. Unfortunately, none of those big hitters have been on the Switch, which seems to be slowing down somewhat in its old age. Princess Peach: Showtime! probably won’t turn heads as much as something like a Final Fantasy or a Dragon’s Dogma, but that doesn’t mean it should be slept on, either. 

The story of Showtime is pretty straightforward: Princess Peach is having a quick little visit to the theatre to watch a play or two when suddenly a big nasty woman called Grape and her group of villainous henchmen called the Sour Bunch take over the theatre and kidnap all of the lead actors. Peach has to team up with a weird ribbon-like creature named Stella, who gives her magical powers, to flush the henchmen out of the stage shows and rescue the lead actors. 

As far as the story goes, that’s about all you’re going to get. There are some extra little details here and there about Sparklas and where the magical powers come from, and each play has its own little story throughout, but this is very much a game where the story takes a backseat. That’s fine, honestly, because if we compare this to Mario or even Kirby, you’re getting roughly the same amount of story: just enough to get thighs going and not much more. 

Plus it leaves more room to focus on the gameplay, and that’s really the main draw. Princess Peach: Showtime! has a lot of varied gameplay, all owing to the different costumes Peach wears in each play. Some will be much more straightforward platforming with light combat, kind of like a Kirby level, while others will completely change the style of gameplay on offer, with cake decorating and ice dancing very much on the table. 

Each play is split up into three acts, and you’ll be performing in four of those plays on each floor of the theatre. For example, the first floor has you performing in the first acts of the Swordfighter, Patissiere, Ninja, and Cowgirl plays, while the second floor holds the second act of the Swordfighter play and the first acts of three new plays. It’s a nice way to mix up gameplay with each section of the game, to keep things from getting stale and overstaying their welcome. 

That said, much like Kirby with its multiple different forms, not every costume that Peach has access to in Showtime is a banger. Mermaid Peach, for example, is a bit of a nightmare to actually play, and while the idea behind Patissiere Peach is nice, the actual execution can be frustrating and sometimes feel a little bit unfair.

There are also some costumes that tend to feel a bit samey — for example the Monk, Swordfighter, and Mighty are all fairly straightforward in that you do a little bit of jumping and then hit things in front of you. The game does make up for this with bespoke sections for those costumes in their respective stages, like a side-scrolling shoot-em-up-style section in Mighty and a reaction-based minigame in Monk, but a lot of the moment-to-moment gameplay feels just a touch too similar. 

Another point of frustration is with Showtime’s bosses, which follow the same “hit it three times to win” formula we see in games like Mario 64 and a couple of Zelda games. The boss stages are interesting thematically, and the mechanics behind them definitely lean more creative than not, but I wish there was more going on than just waiting for an enemy to be done attacking, giving it a wallop, and then repeating that two more times. 

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In terms of performance, it’s fine, I guess? It runs at 30fps, which is a bit of a shame, and for the most part looks totally okay, even if there are a few dodgy textures and a few dropped frames here and there. It would have been nice to have it running at 60fps, maybe with lighting that was a little more dynamic, but my complaints in that department are minimal, at least. It does the job well enough, and that’s what matters most. 

Another thing worth noting is the music, which is absolutely brilliant but not in a way that gets stuck in your head. It, too, reminds me of Kirby, as much of the rest of the game does, and I quite enjoyed it. As I said, none of the tracks here are likely to be instant classics like some other games, but they’re fun to have playing in the background as you make your way through each level. 

Oh, and for anyone concerned about the lack of difficulty, don’t be — later acts in most of the plays can be quite challenging. It definitely doesn’t get to Super Mario Wonder levels of difficulty, not even close, but it’s not always a walk in the park, either. 


Princess Peach: Showtime! is an enjoyable little game that doesn’t push the boundaries but does most things quite well. It’s more like a Kirby game than a Mario game, for better and for worse, and while it has its sore points, there’s a heck of a lot of enjoyment to be had if you lean into it and take it for what it is. 

Rating: 4/5

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The Good

+ Great gameplay variety
+ Costumes are very cool
+ The music is a banger

The Bad

- Some costumes are kinda bad
- The performance is just fine
- I am bad at decorating cakes

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Princess Peach: Showtime! is an enjoyable little game that doesn’t push the boundaries but does most things quite well. It’s more like a Kirby game than a Mario game, for better and for worse, and while it has its sore points, there’s a heck of a lot of enjoyment to be had if you lean into it and take it for what it is. 

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About The Author
Oliver Brandt
Deputy Editor, sometimes-reviewer, and Oxford comma advocate. If something's published on Vooks, there's a good chance I looked over it first. I spend way too much on games and use way too many em dashes.

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