Spring 2024 Videogames: Princess Peach and More!

By Steven Kent


Knowing Mario is dangerous: It landed Luigi, Mario’s brother, in three haunted mansions. It left Yoshi, his pet dinosaur, stranded on two deserted islands. Now, it has placed Princess Peach in danger.

This time, Princess Peach is self-reliant. Trapped in the now-bewitched Sparkle Theater by a wicked witch named Grape, the marvelous matriarch of the Mushroom Kingdom demonstrates previously unknown abilities by transforming herself into a swordfighter, a detective, a martial artist and a baker.

Blockbuster adventures have long been Nintendo’s strong suit, and Princess Peach Showtime! (Nintendo for Switch) won’t fall far from the tree. Expect huge worlds, fun action, endless puzzles, hidden objects and much to smile about.


Two things to know about Penny’s Big Breakaway (Private Division for PS5, Switch, Xbox Series XJS, PC): It’s fast and it makes no sense.

Penny, a performance artist with a living yo-yo, finds herself in trouble when said yo-yo humiliates a king who sends an army of emperor penguins for revenge. Fortunately for Penny, her yo-yo can also be used for zip lining, swinging and other fast getaways.


Animal Well (Bigmode for PS5, Steam, Switch) is a place of darkness, delights and dangers. You, a character that hatches from a flower, must explore the well-lighting candles to defuse the darkness while surviving and avoiding every hostile thing you meet — which is pretty much everything you meet.


Mario may have dedicated his life to protecting Princess Peach, but she wasn’t the first damsel in distress to catch his eye.

Mario had a different name, a different line of work and a different leading lady when he first became a star. In the 1981 arcade smash Donkey Kong, Mario was a carpenter named Jumpman, risking life and limb to save his one true love — Pauline. It didn’t last.

After changing his name and job in 1985, Nintendo’s plucky plumber switched to saving royals, starting with Princess Toadstool. Four years later, it was another endangered princess: Daisy of Sarasa Land.

Then, in 1996’s Super Mario 64, Mario’s one true love returned — Princess Peach. It turns out that Princess Toadstool was Peach all along.

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