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Princess Peach: Showtime! Review: A Charming Adventure

Super Mario has dozens of them. Luigi spooks his way through ghost adventures, mushroom head Toad goes on treasure hunts and even Yoshi or Wario have already made solo appearances. However, the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach, has mostly been left out in the cold. But this is finally changing. In the Princess Peach: Showtime! Review, we take a closer look at the varied theatrical adventure for Nintendo Switch.

Princess Peach: Showtime! Review: The facts at a glance

Title Princess Peach: Showtime! (official website)
Genre Action / Jump ‘n’ Run
Developer: Nintendo Nintendo
Publisher Nintendo
Release date 22. March 2024
Platforms Nintendo Switch
Number of players 1
Price € 46.99 *

Princess Peach: Showtime! Review: Princess becomes a Broadway star

Princess Peach has proven time and again that she is a real jack-of-all-trades. Whether in karting, tennis or jumping with Mario, Luigi and co. Even in the Super Mario Bros. movie, the blonde stole the show from the plumber duo at times.

Show is also a good keyword, because in her second playful solo appearance, the princess takes to the big show stage. The focal point of Princess Peach: Showtime! is the Sparkle Theater, which has been taken over by a mysterious masked villainess.

Princess Peach: Showtime! Test
The Sparkle Theater needs our help. (Image: Nintendo)

As the game progresses, it’s up to you to regain control of the stage and stand up to the evil witch Grape. Unfortunately, as is typical for Nintendo, the story remains rather pale. As a nice hook for a varied adventure, however, it’s certainly enough, especially as it is driven forward in a well-staged manner by attractive render cutscenes.

The show must go on

As the witch and her entourage have taken over all of the theater’s performances, the gameplay of Princess Peach: Showtime! is full of variety. At the beginning, we find ourselves in the main hall of the six-storey theater. Always at our side is a charming fairy called Stella, who gives Peach special sparkling powers with her magical bow.

And these provide plenty of playful variety: We have a total of 30 levels to choose from in the game, which are divided into ten categories. Each of these categories has its very own gameplay, including a matching outfit and stage design. There are also a handful of boss battles, while at the end we face off against the witch herself.

As a swordswoman, we inflict elegant sword blows on Grape’s henchmen, as a ninja we try to sneak through the level as unnoticed as possible and as a pastry chef we decorate cookies or cakes with the right timing and decorations.

Especially as the game stages these different ideas in an extremely charming way and picks up on the theatrical staging in a coherent way. As a ninja, for example, we use wooden bushes to hide ourselves – which inevitably brings a smile to our faces.

Not only does it all sound very varied, it also plays like it. Especially as the individual levels all come up with their own game ideas, which are always livened up by successful game ideas.

Unfortunately, however, this concept does not seem to have been thought through to the end. Some of the disguises turn out to be rather undemanding and unimaginative: Cake baking could easily pass for a mini-game in the Mario Party series, while the superheroine sections lack a little variety.

Princess Peach: Showtime! Gameplay: Simple, but fun

However, all disguises and tasks have one thing in common: they are extremely simple. If you are looking for playful challenges or demanding jumping sequences, you are undoubtedly in the wrong place here.

Princess Peach: Showtime! is therefore in a similar vein to Kirby and the Forgotten Land or Yoshi’s Crafted World and is undoubtedly aimed at a younger audience.

And thanks to the catchy controls, they can easily make it through the 30 game sections. My six-year-old son also had great fun with the game and was not only very impressed by the variety of gameplay, but also by the strong title heroine who plays the main role.

Showtime is a relaxed and charming game for in-between times. It’s the perfect way to flop down on the sofa after work and unwind. But if you’re looking for a challenge, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Princess Peach: Showtime!
Not all disguises/levels are of a similarly high quality. (Image: Nintendo)

Especially as the scope is extremely manageable. The adventure can be completed in around 5-8 hours. Unfortunately, Princess Peach: Showtime! doesn’t offer much replay value either. Apart from a few unlockable dress designs and color schemes for Stella, there is hardly any incentive to revisit the individual levels.

However, the title scores points for the boss battles, which are varied and creative. However, the adventure would have benefited from a few more duels. The Peach adventure also sorely lacks a couch co-op mode.

The technology of Princess Peach: Showtime!

From a technical point of view, Princess Peach: Showtime! Is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, the adventure boasts an absolutely harmonious and colorful theatrical look, which is skillfully implemented down to the last detail and scores with chic backdrops.

On the other hand, the title has to contend with performance problems. Fortunately, these are almost only evident in the loading screens, which flicker across the screen at 1-2 frames per second, as well as in the sometimes somewhat jerky cutscenes. The game itself looks much better.

Princess Peach: Showtime!
We are practically invisible behind these wooden bushes. Or are we? OR? (Image: Nintendo)

Was the Unreal Engine used simply too much for the Nintendo Switch’s aged hardware? There’s nothing wrong with the soundtrack, however, which scores with atmospheric music and good sound effects.

Princess Peach: Showtime! Review: Conclusion

Unfortunately, Princess Peach: Showtime! cannot match the quality of the Super Mario games, but the princess’s adventure turns out to be an amazingly entertaining, pleasantly varied and relaxed genre mix with a strong heroine.

Those looking for a challenging game will unfortunately not find what they are looking for here and the length of 5-8 hours is also far too manageable for a full-price game. The technical inconsistencies are also annoying, but fortunately have no effect on the gameplay.

However, Princess Peach: Showtime! makes up for these flaws with its largely successful gameplay and charming stage designs. Let’s hope that Nintendo gives the regent her own spin-off series, because the potential is definitely there.

Princess Peach: Showtime! Test: Silver Award

Pros
Contra
Story
70%
Peach as a strong main character
atmospheric staging
– Story without depth
– Characters remain too pale
Gameplay
85%
successful gameplay variety
Jumping, fighting, sneaking and more
varied boss fights
– some sections very short
– not all outfits equally good
– kept very simple
Balance
93%
smooth controls
optional difficulty level for very young players
– too shallow for many
Scope
70%
30 levels on 6 floors
collectable twinkle stars
– disappointing playing time of < 8h
– no co-op or multiplayer
– hardly any replay value
Graphics & Sound
82%
atmospheric, charming environments
chic cutscenes
successful soundtrack
– Performance problems
– partly choppy animations

Princess Peach: Showtime!

Story
Gameplay
Balance
Scope
Graphics & Sound

80/100

Princess Peach: Showtime! turns out to be a varied and charming genre mix for a younger target group, but it lacks sophistication and scope.

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