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Bang! Howdy is a 3D turn-based strategy game with a western theme and bright graphics reminiscent of certain Blizzard titles. Offering both singleplayer and multi-player options, the game consists of a number of scenarios in small areas with different themes and strategical goals. Players take turns commanding a small band of units (usually about four or five) with different statistics against up to three other (computer-controlled) players. Some of the scenarios are:
  • Claim Jumping: collect claim nuggets and defend or overtake claims.
  • Rustlin' Cattle: brand and re-brand cows.
  • Gold Rush: collect gold nuggets.
  • Land Grab: capture and defend a number of homesteads.
Using a 3d overhead view, players take turns moving around units such as flying blimps, gunslingers, big shot units, dirigibles, artillery, shotgunners, sharpshooters, steam gunmen and more. Each game consists of a set number of rounds. The scenarios' goals often involve acquiring and defending certain areas or items before time runs out. Units have different weapons, features and movement options. Clicking a unit reveals their health and the time before a next move is possible. Obstacles and elevation also influence units and some work better than others in specific situations.

Movement is done through a semi-transparent grid overlay that shows the movement or attack range. Big Shot units have the ability to capture homesteads, overtake claims and brand cows, and need to be protected well. When dead, units respawn but this takes a number of turns. Points are called "Scrip" and are awarded based on the outcome.

The gameplay is further influenced through spawning bonuses that improve defence, movement, attacking power, health or luck. This can also be done by collecting and using cards during gameplay, with similar effects. The single-player portion is played from a town where players can visit different buildings. The avatar can be fully customized and the scenarios are shown as a number of unlockable town bounties, rewarded with cash. There are also a number of most wanted challenges against a specific opponent. Multiplayer usually involved ranked matches.

Although the game is free to play, paying customers with a gold account receive more customization options (hats, clothes, facepaint), they can recruit new Big Shot units, visit new towns, and unlock new units and goods.


Bang! Howdy Windows The general store
Bang! Howdy Windows Customize your character.
Bang! Howdy Windows Playing a game of Rustlin' Cattle.
Bang! Howdy Windows My units crossing the bridge together.

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Critic Reviews

GamesRadar Linux May 21, 2007 8 out of 10 80
GamesRadar Windows May 21, 2007 8 out of 10 80
GamesRadar Macintosh May 21, 2007 8 out of 10 80
The A.V. Club Windows Aug 02, 2006 B- 67
The A.V. Club Linux Aug 02, 2006 B- 67
The A.V. Club Macintosh Aug 02, 2006 B- 67


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Contributed to by Sciere (587607)