bhowdy.jpg Good news, everybody! Three Rings, the creators of the excellent casual MMO Puzzle Pirates, have announced the public beta for Bang! Howdy, a multiplayer online tactical strategy game for the PC, in which "players face off in the steam-powered Wild West, using casual strategy game mechanics in a variety of gameplay modes."

The game, which has a Beta blog and is "a hybrid between turn-based and real-time strategy gameplay, and is played in short fast-paced rounds", looks very neat indeed - and it's going to be 'play for free, pay for items' when it launches, just like a whole bunch of Korean titles like Kart Rider that have been super-successful.

Also, damn, it's steampunk, and has a great press release quote: "We been diggin' away in the mines for a good long while and we can finally report that there's gold in them thar hills," said Michael Bayne, director of "Bang! Howdy" and Three Rings' CTO. "Hitch up yer wagons and get ready to ride, because yer not gonna want to miss out on all the fun."