Princess Peach: Showtime! Previews Set The Stage For A Charming Platformer

Princess Peach: Showtime! Previews Set The Stage For A Charming Platformer

Ever since Nintendo announced Princess Peach: Showtime! last June, fans of the Mushroom Kingdom’s ruler have been waiting with baited breath for the game’s release on March 22. So far fans have had a series of trailers spotlighting the game’s unique transformation mechanic that sees Peach donning new outfits with a myriad of powers.

The game’s theatrical setting and art style calls all the way back to the memorable stage-play framing device for Super Mario Bros. 3, while also carving out a unique starring role for Nintendo’s leading lady. The story follows Peach’s mission to save the Spark Theater from Grape and the Sour Bunch, and to do so she must take on different stages (quite literally considering the theater setting) in the aforementioned outfits.

And now we finally have some concrete information about what the game feels like to play. Ahead of the game’s release, Nintendo held a preview for press, giving them hands-on time with an hour of content. Overall previews paint a picture of a fun—if sometimes simple—game that delivers a satisfying experience that’s geared especially towards younger players. We also learned that the game will let you tackle each stage in whatever order you choose from an overworld map. With Nintendo Switch’s 2024 slate of games looking fairly sparse of first-party releases, Princess Peach: Showtime is set to be the console’s big title this year.

Here’s what previews have to say about Princess Peach: Showtime:

Screenshot: Nintendo


Based on what I’ve played, Princess Peach: Showtime is wholly its own thing, decoupled from the traditional Mario game entirely, and throughout my time with it I found myself really impressed with how different and special each stage looked and felt. More importantly, I didn’t find myself asking questions like “where is Mario?” or “when is Bowser going to show up?” because I didn’t need them to be there for this game to work despite Peach being inextricably connected to those characters for decades. I’m excited to see the rest of her unique transformations, or if some of my favorites like Swordfighter and Ninja Peach will get additional levels. Or, uh, second acts. Pun intended. Showtime is definitely for the younger crowd, but so are many of the best Nintendo games, and as an older Nintendo fan currently raising a younger Nintendo fan at home, I’m hoping the final game can keep up the momentum throughout its entire experience, because I really love what it’s doing so far.

The Gamer

Princess Peach: Showtime might be on the simpler side and not provide much challenge for older players (or even younger), but its charming levels, steady stream of surprises, and variety of mechanics have me excited to see what’s behind the curtain in the final game.


Prancing through each segment of the theater, Peach buoys her friends with the power of optimism. Showtime feels like our princess has finally left the castle, packed up an arsenal of toys, and gotten ready for the rodeo. While she talks her buddies up, they’re also in turn encouraging her that she can be every version of herself that she wants to be. From what I’ve seen so far, she’s already living the dream.

Digital Trends

Nothing that I tried was too complicated or challenging. It seems like Nintendo is going for an uncomplicated release here that takes the ability gameplay of the Kirby series and makes it even more straightforward. Players aren’t switching between costumes in levels to solve puzzles. There are a few hidden collectibles and secret bonus stages triggered by striking a pose in a specified spot, but it’s all light platforming fare.

That’s not meant as a knock; Nintendo clearly knows its audience here. Princess Peach Showtime! feels more aimed at young kids than usual, which feels like the right call considering what an important moment it could be for gender representation in games. It’s important for kids to see Peach in a starring role apart from Mario, one where she can be anything she wants. It makes no distinction between being a “boy’s” or “girl’s” game. She gets to parry sword strikes and bake cakes in the same breath. It’s the Barbie concept adapted into Nintendo game design.


Like any tasting menu, none of these stages felt like a full meal. The plays were relatively short—I finished all five within the hour or so I was given and picked up most of the collectibles along the way. And each of them was relatively simple, without the depth of a fully dedicated game. It may be that the stages and mechanics get more complex as the game progresses, but I suspect that isn’t the case. Instead, Princess Peach: Showtime seems to confidently know exactly what it is, and that’s a way for gaming novices to get a taste for lots of different types of games and find the ones they love.

Princess Peach: Showtime! launches March 22 for Nintendo Switch.

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