The third installment in the long-running Mario Party series was released on this day in gaming history.
Mario Party 3, developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo, was released exclusively for the Nintendo 64 on May 7th, 2001 in the US. This followed a December 2000 release in Japan.
In the game, players picked one of a variety of popular characters from the Mario franchise and traveled around a board. The goal was to have the most stars by the end, which could be obtained in various ways, mainly through purchase by coins. Primarily, those coins were earned in mini-games which occurred at the end of each turn. Those mini-games involved a variety of types–from combat to puzzle to racing and more. Some were free-for-all, others pitted a single-player against three others, some were team-based.
Two new characters were added to this installment of the franchise: Waluigi and Princess Daisy. A duel mode was added as well, focusing on 1 vs. 1 action, a mode without items and involving reducing the health of the player’s opponent. A story mode, pitting a single player against a variety of computer-controlled foes, appears for the first time in the series as well.
Like the first two games in the series, Mario Party 3 was a success. With the soon-to-be released GameCube on the horizon, this would be the final game in the series for Nintendo’s “Fun Machine,” the Nintendo 64.