Princess Peach: Showtime! is deceptively simple — here's why I love it

Princess Peach: Showtime! offers easy-breezy gameplay with a layer of challenge for completionists

Princess Peach: Showtime! screenshot showing Mighty Peach reaching towards the viewer
(Image: © Nintendo)

Tom's Guide Verdict

As well as looking fantastic, Princess Peach: Showtime! delivers solid, but simple, gameplay, making it ideal for casual Nintendo fans and younger players. However, it also has an extra layer of challenge for completionists who want to collect everything.


  • +

    Beautiful visuals and sound

  • +

    Simple but compelling gameplay

  • +

    Extra challenge for completionists


  • -

    Lack of rewards for finding collectibles

  • -

    Occasional framerate issues

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Princess Peach: Showtime! review: Specs

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Price: $59
Release date: March 22, 2024
Genre: Action-adventure

Princess Peach: Showtime! is a Nintendo Switch exclusive that serves its niche well. This action-adventure game is suited to younger players and casual gamers, delivering simple but enjoyable gameplay with satisfying visuals and sound. It also provides a decent level of challenge for experienced players who want to grab all the game’s hidden collectibles.

Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone — if you’re not into simplistic gameplay, you’ll likely get bored fast. Additionally, a few performance issues spoil the otherwise spectacular visuals.

Take the stage and check out my full Princess Peach: Showtime! review.

Princess Peach: Showtime!: The Basics 

  • What is it? Princess Peach: Showtime! is an action-adventure game that follows Princess Peach as she attempts to free the inhabitants of a magic theater who have been trapped by the villainous Sour Bunch. 
  • Who is it for? Princess Peach: Showtime! is well-suited to younger players or casual gamers. It also provides a decent challenge for completionists.
  • What is the price? Princess Peach: Showtime! costs $59 on Nintendo Switch.
  • What other games has the developer made? Princess Peach: Showtime! comes from Good-Feel. They’re behind Yoshi’s Crafted World on Switch and Kirby’s Epic Yarn on Wii.
  • What games is this similar to? Stages in Princess Peach: Showtime! are generally easy to beat, but each one is filled with hidden collectibles that make the game more challenging for completionists. That makes it similar to games like Kirby and the Forgotten Land and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.

Making an entrance

Princess Peach: Showtime! screenshot showing Princess Peach in a castle

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Princess Peach: Showtime! takes place entirely in a theater, with its 2D side-scrolling stages consisting of light platforming, simple combat and puzzles. Each level is set within a stage production and sees Peach don one of 10 costumes. Different costumes unlock unique special abilities — for example, Kung-Fu Peach can chop-kick enemies, while Detective Peach must search for clues and accuse suspects. During each level, you’re encouraged to grab various collectibles including coins and Sparkle Gems. Coins can be spent on cosmetics, and Sparkle Gems unlock additional floors in the theater, letting you reach new stages.

Each play you explore takes place across three stages. The first stage sets out the basics. The second provides a small twist on the formula. And the third stage mixes things up even further as the villain’s magical powers distort parts of the theater.

For example, Cowgirl Peach’s stages see you encounter bad guys in a saloon at high noon, chase down bandits at sunset, and race alongside a runaway train at dusk. Discovering what new visual trips and gameplay surprises the next stage held made me never want to put the game down.

Wearing many hats 

Princess Peach: Showtime! screenshot showing Figure Skater Peach on ice

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The gameplay in Princess Peach: Showtime! is simple, but compelling. There aren’t branching paths in levels, and most enemies are easily defeated in one hit. This allows the game to be accessible to a wide assortment of players regardless of ability.

However, the game doesn’t only cater to less experienced players. Collectibles are hidden throughout each level, and there’s a helpful tracker that lists how many you found and which ones you missed. This helps flesh out the experience and gives you a reason to come back and replay stages you’ve already beaten. Plus, there are optional Rehearsal stages on each floor — these themed bonus stages task you with using Peach's special skills to earn the highest score possible under a time limit. Achieving the top rank in Rehearsal stages provides a surprisingly tough challenge.

I’ve certainly not nabbed every Sparkle Gem on my journey through Princess Peach: Showtime!, but that’s okay. There seems to be no incentive to collect everything other than the satisfaction of seeing that 100% completion mark. It would have been even better if Sparkle Gems could be used to unlock more cosmetics or bonus stages to reward players for going the extra mile.

In the spotlight 

Princess Peach: Showtime! screenshot showing Patissier Peach with a large cookie

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Princess Peach: Showtime! is a visual marvel on the base Nintendo Switch model. There’s a huge variety of themes and color palettes on display, and the fact that every level takes place on a theater stage brings an additional layer of creativity. Special effects are accomplished with moving cardboard cutouts, puppets, and projections, just like you’d see in a real theater. All of Peach’s transformations look fantastic, and the cookies and cakes in the culinary-themed stages especially look good enough to eat.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues that prevent the visuals from being perfect. The red curtains in the loading screens are meant to billow gently, but there’s so much stutter that they look more like a slideshow. This is preferable to serious lag during gameplay, but it doesn’t paint a good first impression before you’re dropped into a stage. I also saw some framerate drops during the transformation sequences, which is a huge shame as they’re a highlight. The models generally look sharper in docked mode compared to handheld, so you might want to stick to playing on a TV if you want the best visual experience possible. 

The game’s soundtrack is excellent. Ninja Peach’s theme mixes classical Japanese instrumentation with a funky disco beat, and Peach’s siren song blending in with the piano backing track in the Mermaid stages sounded gorgeous. A ton of punchy sound effects make each move feel impactful, whether you’re slicing and dicing enemies with Swordfighter Peach’s saber or hearing Figure Skater Peach’s skates clash against the ice after a perfect jump.

Princess Peach: Showtime! Verdict 

Princess Peach: Showtime! screenshot showing Detective Peach on a bench

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Princess Peach: Showtime! isn’t going to please every kind of gamer. But casual and younger players looking for a cute, relaxing game that won’t take up too much time will find plenty to enjoy. It’s also appealing to collect-a-thon fans, as hunting down all the game’s Sparkle Gems provides a good challenge and incentive to replay levels.

There are a couple of improvements that could have made it even better — more rewards for finding collectibles and removing the few instances of lag would have been great. But overall, Princess Peach: Showtime! delivers satisfying gameplay with wonderful visuals and music.

Millie Davis-Williams

Millie is a Deals writer at Tom's Guide specializing in deals content. She also covers the latest tech news and and creates how-to articles about everything from phones, streaming devices, and headphones to apps and video games. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gaming on her Nintendo Switch and creating digital art.