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BANG! for iOS

BANG! for iOS

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Card games

SpinVector S.p.A. brought the amazingly fun card game, BANG! to iOS recently, and I can't stop playing it. BANG! is a western-themed card game where players have different conditions they must meet to win. To win, you'll need to figure out who everyone else is while progressing your own goals. With both single-player and online play, BANG! offers a lot.


The music, sound effects, and graphics in BANG! help set the mood of the old west. The rules are presented nicely, although there is a lot to read. I recommend reading the basic rules, then jumping into the game. You can always go back and read more later. At the start of each turn, an image of the current character appears on screen. Similar screens show up during key points of the game. They're nice, although I an option to speed through them would be nice.


Each player takes a different role, either sheriff, deputy, outlaw, or renegade. The sheriff is the only character that's publicly known in the game. You'll need to figure out who the rest of your opponents are. The sheriff and deputy both win if the outlaws and renegade are killed. The outlaws win as soon as the sheriff is killed. The renegade wins only if he's the last character alive.

Most games consist of one sheriff, one deputy, one renegade, and two outlaws. The basic strategy is usually the same. The outlaws win if the sheriff is killed. Even if one outlaw dies, both win if the sheriff is killed. As such, they usually try to kill the sheriff immediately. If the deputy or renegade are killed too, that's fine, but they don't care. The deputy wants the sheriff to win because that makes him win too. As soon as the deputy can identify the outlaws, he's likely to begin trying to kill the outlaws. Once the outlaws are killed, he'll know the remaining non-sheriff character must be the renegade, so he guns for the renegade. The renegade wins if he's the last character alive. As such, he should aim for the outlaws first. At the beginning, this means that the deputy and renegade are doing the same thing. While the renegade does eventually need to kill the sheriff, as soon as shoots the sheriff, it'll be obvious that he's not the deputy. Once the outlaws are killed, that leaves the sheriff, deputy, and outlaw. Because the sheriff is publicly known, the deputy and renegade will obviously know who the other is, but the sheriff won't. The sheriff will likely fight both of them, while the renegade will try to kill the deputy before the sheriff.

While there are some special cards, the basic gameplay is as follows. The sheriff goes first, and turns pass clockwise. On the start of your turn, you draw two cards. Some cards are known as BANG! cards. Using one will let you shoot a player one spot away from you around the circle, and a player can only use one per turn. Unless that targeted player can counter with a miss card, he loses one life. Each player can equip one gun that will either increase the range BANG!s can be used or will allow multiple to be used per turn. Some cards will allow you to draw more cards, force a player to discard cards, attack everyone, or do other things. In addition, yellow cards are played in front of you but can't be used until the next turn. It's sort of like having a second, public-facing hand.

The single-player is very robust and fun. There's an easy and normal mode. Besides having a role, there are also different characters. Each character has a different special ability, such as being able to draw three cards per turn instead of two. In easy mode, the special abilities aren't used. The multiplayer is also great. I did have the game crash once during an online game, however. The wait time to join a public game was never more than a minute, but I always saw less than 30 players online at a time. BANG! was just released, so I don't expect there will be much online play once the activity dies down.

My only real complaint about BANG! is that in single-player, there's a pause button that, when pressed, will open a dialog box asking if you want to quit. The game isn't paused at this point though. Sometimes I like to play an iOS game while doing something else. BANG! is close to being fully turn-based, allowing me to look away, but currently I'd have to wait for it to get back to my turn, or I'd have to press the power button on my phone. It's a minor complaint.


I picked up BANG! when it was free on release day, but it's currently $1.99 on the iTunes Store. It's a very fun game, and even if you don't plan on playing it online, the single-player alone is worth the price tag. It's very addictive to be able to play BANG! even if I can't find people to play the physical card game with me. The game also features a pass-and-play option, so you could still play with your friends even if they don't own the game. Also, keep in mind BANG! is a real card game as well. If you like the iOS version, check out the physical game!

I am MrDevee on Apple's Game Center, Devee in BANG!, and @TheUser on Twitter.


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