Princess Peach: Showtime! Sales Show Its Star Deserves A Second Act

Time for an encore.

screenshot from Princess Peach Showtime

After almost two decades in exile, Nintendo’s most loveable monarch returned to the throne in March this year. That’s when Princess Peach: Showtime! arrived on Nintendo Switch, giving Peach a starring role for the first time since the days of the Nintendo DS. Her return was quite successful, meaning this may not be the last time we see Peach headline her own game — I just hope Nintendo truly lets her shine next time around.

Princess Peach: Showtime! was the best-selling game on Switch in March, according to data from analyst Circana shared by Mat Piscatella, executive director of the firm’s games division. It came in just ahead of Unicorn Overlord and was in sixth place for U.S. game sales across all platforms, where Dragon’s Dogma II took the top spot.

Princess Peach gets new abilities with each costume change in Princess Peach: Showtime!


While it’s not entirely surprising that a game starring one of Nintendo’s most recognizable characters was a smash hit on the Switch, it could be good for anyone who’s hoping to see the princess continue her reign in future games. Super Princess Peach, the last game starring Peach, sold well and got decent reviews upon release, despite playing with some sexist tropes in its heroine’s emotion-based powers. This time around, Showtime got an even better reception with none of the controversy. Where Nintendo could have chalked Super Princess Peach’s success up to a fluke, it’s harder to ignore a second home run in a row.

It’s no surprise that Showtime connected with audiences, either. Its clever central gimmick has Princess Peach stepping into the lead role in multiple plays, which gives her powers based on each story, from swashbuckling swordplay to a powerful singing voice that can command schools of fish. It’s a colorful, lighthearted adventure with tons of gameplay variety that’s approachable even for players who aren’t experts at the kind of platforming seen in mainline Super Mario games.

But while its approachability makes Showtime the perfect Switch game for kids and other casual players, it also makes the game feel less exciting than something like the recent Super Mario Bros. Wonder. As I wrote in my review, “Princess Peach: Showtime! is so committed to being simple and approachable that it never reaches the potential of any of its gameplay mechanics.”

Peach shines in Showtime, but a sequel could still do more.


Nearly all of the powers that Showtime’s multiple costume changes enable are exciting and clever, opening new twists on its platforming gameplay and cool new outfits for Peach. But throughout the course of the game, you spend roughly an hour or less in each role, so there’s no room for them to really develop. Each version of Peach gets a nice set piece or two, but there’s hardly any mechanical growth no matter which costume you’re wearing.

I enjoyed my time playing Showtime, to be clear, but it was impossible to avoid the feeling that it’s something of a dress rehearsal for a game that goes further with its premise. A game that takes place inside the world of theater would be a perfect venue for a cast of quirky characters and creative stories for each of its plays. Showtime has none of that. Peach is essentially the only real character in the game, and even she doesn’t have anything that you could honestly call a personality. The plays themselves are little more than aesthetic themes for each level.

All of these issues could be fixed in a sequel. The basic conceit of swapping costumes to gain new powers already works, and developer Good-Feel could even use a few of the existing powers from Showtime as a basis for its gameplay. As much as the Super Mario series changes for each iteration, every game is built on the same platforming foundation with new gameplay gimmicks and art styles to make them feel fresh. A sequel to Showtime could do just that, replicating the core experience of the original with some original twists to add more depth.

Showtime feels like the perfect setup for a truly great second act.


That would likely satisfy the game’s biggest fans as well as those who found more fault with it — at least, it would win me over. At its heart, Showtime already has what it takes to be as big a hit as any recent Super Mario game. It just needs a little more ambition to get there.

More than just an easy win for Nintendo, a Showtime sequel would be a great place to correct decades of underusing Princess Peach. While the Mario brothers themselves have taken on plenty of roles over the years, Peach has often been the series’ resident damsel in distress. Assuming the upcoming Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door remake stays faithful to the original, that’s the position she’ll be in, after games like Super Smash Bros., Mario + Rabbids, and now Showtime have put in the work to give her a more active role. Princess Peach may still be in a supporting role for now, but I’m hoping we get another Showtime to make her the star she deserves to be.

Princess Peach: Showtime! is available now on Nintendo Switch.

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