Puzzle Bobble 3 is a tile-matching puzzle game developed and released by Taito for arcades (using Taito F3 Package System hardware) in September 1996.
The third in the Bust-A-Move series (and the first to use the "Puzzle Bobble" name in North America), Puzzle Bobble 3 adds new gameplay changes (such as the lack of a descending ceiling and the addition of scrolling playfields) and a new bubble type (the Rainbow Bubble, which changes when a bubble bursts next to it). It also expands on Versus Mode, adding a cast of characters (each with their own unique attack pattern) that is each based on a genre of popular Japanese arcade machines (including a cameo appearance by Sonic Blast Man).
Puzzle Bobble 3 was ported to numerous consoles, usually with a different name for each region. All Japanese releases were published by Taito, while all others were published by Acclaim (with the exception of the Saturn version in North America, which was published by Natsume, and the PC version). It was ported to:
- The Sega Saturn as Puzzle Bobble 3 (for Japan in March 1997), Puzzle Bobble 3 for SegaNet (also for Japan in August 1997, featuring online multiplayer via SegaNet), and Bust-A-Move 3 (outside of Japan in late 1997).
- The Nintendo 64 as Bust-A-Move 3 DX (for Europe in November 1998), Puzzle Bobble 64 (for Japan in March 1999), and Bust-A-Move '99 (for North America in April 1999). This port was done by Distinctive Developments and is known for its bonus four-player Versus Mode.
The game also received ports exclusive to Europe as Bust-A-Move 3 DX, one for the Game Boy (in 1998) and one for the PC (on January 2002). The GB version was ported by Probe.
Bust-A-Move 3 DX features five different modes of play
- Arcade Mode
- Challenge Mode
- Win Contest Mode
- Collection Mode
- Edit Mode
In either Versus Modes, players can choose from one of eight playable characters: