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Princess Peach: Showtime!


Release Date

ESRB Rating




Bob Hoose

Game Review

Over the years, Nintendo and its game-making partners have done yeoman’s work to keep each of the many, many Mario games from feeling like cookie-cutter copies of one another. And they’ve done a great job. Princess Peach: Showtime! is an exemplary example. This game’s protagonist princess hits her mark with bravado and charm.

Things start off when one of Princess Peach’s mushroom Toad pals shows her a poster for the upcoming Sparkle Theater productions. It looks so enchanting that the princess and Toad soon fly off in hopes of seeing a fun show together. But upon arriving at this Vegas-like, oversized playhouse, Peach discovers that something foul is afoot.

A villain named Madame Grape—and her crew the Sour Bunch—have made an unexpected entrance to steal the show, imprisoned the star performers and redirected everything in Grape’s own foul image.

It’s time for Peach to step out of her typical duties as loyal royal sidekick and take on the roles of heroic leading lady characters. Literally! With the help of Stella, the theater’s sparkle spirit guardian, Peach slips into a variety of different costumes, assumes that character’s abilities and then jumps into each performance with dramatic gusto. She’ll need to best all of the backstage baddies, free the captive actors, and make sure that the show will go on!

Gameplay wise, Princess Peach: Showtime! blends a variety of different gaming genres. When Peach performs as any of 10 different character parts, the style of gaming fits the role.

For example, Swordfighter Peach leaps into swordplay battles; Detective Peach uses her sleuthing skills to uncover clues; Cowgirl Peach jumps up on horseback and lassos baddies through a side-scrolling train set.

Princess Peach: Showtime! is a single-player-only game and it does not require an online connection. (Oh, and players never need to break a leg.)


In this reviewer’s humble opinion, Princess Peach is a much more approachable and endearing protagonist than a couple mustachioed plumbers I know. And her game is filled with appealing variety. The game doesn’t dive deeply into its different genres, but some of the performance stages feel like they could be expanded to become whole games of their own.  

On top of that, this game feels geared for younger players. There’s lots of color. And Peach’s leading lady heroics abound while always maintaining the sweet charm that the character is known for.

In short, Princess Peach: Showtime! spotlights gaming novelty and helpful niceness—elements that parents will appreciate.


There isn’t much to worry over. Players will direct Peach to deliver sword slashes, kung fu kicks and a few explosives on her puppet-like foes. But it never feels harsh or cruel. (Some of the villains blast at Peach with lasers and the like.)

Princess Peach: Showtime! may be a little disappointing for adult gamers who want a more challenging hill to climb, but it works well for younger Peach fans.

That said, I should note that the game sometimes requires timed jumps or attacks that could get a little difficult and/or frustrating for smaller players. They may require a little adult help to navigate.


Hollywood starlets step aside. Princess Peach is ready for her closeup, and her game is ready for its own spotlight. Cue the sweeping musical score.

Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.