Review: Princess Peach – Showtime! explained to parents

What parents need to know

Forget Mario, this time Princess Peach is the star of the adventure!

Princess Peach is invited to the Spark Theatre, but when she arrives, Syrah and her evil Cluster invade the theatre and turn it upside down. Peach must then participate in all the plays presented at the theatre to save the theatre’s inhabitants, the Theathers.

To achieve this, Peach can count on the help of Stella, a star-shaped fairy who provides her with a magic ribbon that helps fend off enemies and cheer on the Theatres.

But most importantly, over the course of her adventures, Peach discovers 10 costumes that give her special powers: Peach Pastry Chef’s costume allows her to decorate cakes and bake cookies, Peach Thief’s costume gives her a grappling hook and a hang glider to subtly save herself, and so on.

Each level is presented as a play, destabilized by the minions of the evil Cluster. You’ll find a themed costume, and you’ll have to use his powers to foil the villains’ plans and try to find all the gems hidden in the level. Each of the 6 floors of the Spark Theater has 4 levels (except the basement which has 10 levels, one for each costume), and once the levels of the floor are completed, the boss door appears. You will then need to provide a sufficient number of gems to be able to unlock it and progress.

It’s easy to miss some gems the first time you complete a level; It’s the game’s way of pushing you to replay the levels multiple times.

Once you’ve completed the floors, there are also some optional challenges that open up to you, allowing you to see if you’ve truly mastered each of the costumes. These challenges usually require you to eliminate as many enemies as possible in a limited amount of time, without being hit once.

As you progress through the levels, you also accumulate money that allows you to buy new dresses for Peach and new ribbons for Stella.

 

The game has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of criticism, it does not influence our opinion.

Details

Release date: 22 March 2024
Developer: Good-Feel
Publisher: Nintendo
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Available format: Physical and digital
Version tested: Nintendo Switch

Game genre: Action-adventure
Themes covered: Theatre, magic
Duration of a game: 1h
Duration of the main game/story: 10 hours
Total time to complete everything: 13h

Text languages: German, English, Simplified chinese, Traditional chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian,
Voice languages: No voice

Number of local players: 1

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+
Beginners
Intermediate
Experienced

Evaluation

There’s a tiny bit of cartoonish violence in that Peach sometimes kicks enemies or attacks them with a sword, but the whole thing is very colorful and cute. Enemies, once attacked, disappear in a cloud of smoke.

Nothing to report at this level.

Small downside here, since the dialogues here are not played. So you have to read the text to understand the story. You also need to be able to read to understand the controls, although these are relatively simple and it is possible that a child can understand them through trial and error.

Peach is brave and noble, she lifts the spirits of the Theatricians and helps them restore order to their theater.

Princess Peach: Showtime! is usually very easy, maybe even too easy for more experienced players, except maybe the cookie-making mini-game, which is inexplicably challenging.

Mind you, that may say more about the skills of this writer than anything else.

No additional monetization. Once the game is purchased, you have access to all the content.

Local game modes

Single-player mode only.

Our opinion

Princess Peach: Showtime! was developed by Good-Feel, the same studio behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Crafted World, and it definitely features the studio’s signature, i.e. levels that are largely two-dimensional, with some three-dimensional passages, but do not require camera manipulation, which makes the game very accessible to neophytes.

The more youthful and feminine aesthetic of the game may put off some players, but for our part, the visual direction of the game charmed us, and we would find it a shame if male players deprived themselves of this title simply because of the pastel palette and floral motifs.

What is more likely to be a hindrance for some more seasoned players, however, is the simplicity of the gameplay. Princess Peach is meant to be a game that is accessible to a younger audience, and unfortunately, this often comes at the expense of more experienced players. While the 10 different costumes add some variety to the gameplay, Peach still only has access to one action with each of the costumes, sometimes two depending on the context. When there are combat sequences, such as when you don the Peach Kung-fu costume, most enemies are eliminated in a single attack, and do not require any strategy.

Still in terms of controls, it’s surprising that for a game that wants to be so accessible, the controls are only explained by an optional tab that appears when a new situation presents itself to us. Instead of explaining these controls through play, we are offered a snippet of text that is optional and inaccessible to younger people who can’t read.

It should also be noted that the title has a limited lifespan. Counting boss fights and optional challenges, there are only forty levels in Princess Peach: Showtime!, and each level takes only a few minutes to complete. It is therefore quite possible to see the credits roll in less than 10 hours. The developers’ solution to extend the game’s lifespan was to make some gems easy to miss on the first pass, forcing us to redo the levels.

However, the amount of gems required to unlock bosses is generous. You won’t need to accumulate that many to complete the game. The rewards for unlocking the rest of the gems are fairly minimal, and are unlikely to motivate most players to put in the required time.

Despite all these caveats, our opinion of Princess Peach: Showtime! is not negative. The game is cute, varied and we can imagine the youngest having fun with the princess’s adventures. We also applaud the screenplay’s decision to make Peach the real heroine of this adventure, to present her as a confident and heroic woman, without Mario ever being mentioned. It’s different from the only other game where she was the sole protagonist, Super Princess Peach, where she had to save Mario and in which she was always prey to his uncontrollable emotions.

On the other hand, it is obvious that we have targeted a very young audience with this title, and we struggle to find arguments to convince more experienced players to try this game, unless they are die-hard fans of the Mushroom Kingdom. In short, we recommend the game for younger players, beginners who want a cute action game, and die-hard fans of the Mario franchise. For the others, it’s better to look elsewhere.

Our rating : 15 / 20

Trailer