Bust-A-Move 3 (also known as Puzzle Bobble 3) is the second sequel to Puzzle Bobble. It was released into arcades in September 1996 and later ported to the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation, Game Boy, Nintendo 64 and Microsoft Windows. It would be the final appearance of Puzzle Bobble on the Sega Saturn. Like its predecessors, the player is tasked with shooting balls at groups of balls, creating groups of 3 or more, which are then removed from play. A European remake is entitled Bust-a-Move 3 DX released in America as Bust-A-Move '99.
The game completely abandons the idea of previous titles that the playfield is being pushed down by some sort of mechanical device and instead attaches groups of bubbles to nodes that move downwards. When a node is no longer connected to any bubbles, it will disappear and when all nodes in a level have vanished the level is complete. One result of this change that may appear strange to players of previous versions is that shooting a bubble to the top of the visible playfield without striking any bubbles causes it to bounce and start travelling back downwards. The player is not penalised if such bubbles again leave the playing field without attaching to anything (except for adding to the number of moves until the field is pushed down by one empty line). Despite this some versions include a reimplementation of the Puzzle Bobble 2 levels now built around nodes (entitled Version 2.5).
Gameplay is further varied by the implementation of new scrolling playfields that are several times as high as the screen and must be conquered as an endurance event. Each scrolling playfield occupies the same space on the world map as five previous levels.
This game also marks the introduction of new bubbles: Rainbow Bubble (when bursting the bubble next to the rainbow bubble, the rainbow bubble will assume burst bubble color), Star Bubble (hit it, the star will burst all of the same colored bubbles on the screen), Metal Bubble (All bubbles in the path of the metal bubble will burst) and Trouble Bubble (This bubble can not burst).
The ability to choose a character was introduced. As in Bubble Bobble, the 1st player, when he/she picks Bub, gets Bub, and the 2nd player gets Bob. In the Nintendo 64 version, a 4 player simultaneous option is available.
Puzzle mode, It consists of a branch of levels, where the player advances choosing between 2 possible paths until reaching the end, in a total of 30 levels.
Player vs Computer mode, A kind of story mode, shows the origin game of each character. After defeating all the characters the player will appreciate a small epilogue about the character he has played with.
Player vs Player mode, multiplayer mode.
Challenge mode, a series of levels where the skill of the player is classified. The player can obtain a certified from their Bust-A-Move Grade from 1 to 20.
Win Contest mode, tournament in which you must fight and defeat as many opponents as possible. To more victories you achieve, you will be able to assemble a picture of your character. Also, in this mode is possible to find new characters, once defeated, they can be used in other modes.
Collection mode, the player can search for any level available in the game, and play it.
Edit mode, can you create your own maps.
- Bub/Bubblen and Bob/Boblun
- Luna Luna
- Super Sonic Blast Man/SSB
- Pitch & Chap
- The game forbids the initials 'SEX' on the high score table. If you try, it gets changed to 'PB3'.