Mobicle has done it again: launched a new game that’s practically guaranteed to suck you in and waste your time in the most glorious way. If you dig social games with friends, this one is for you. Get ready to expand your online worlds with a taste of the frontier before it was tamed.

Bloody Western is a cowpoke and gunslinger flavored entry into the online simulation games category that allows the player to take on one of two personas: Old West Sheriff, or Old West Outlaw.  Within each of those two categories, you can choose one of three classes based on your preference—for example, justice might be your main focus, or getting rich, or just being the fastest draw west of the Mississipp’.  Those options shape what your other game features will look like, but they don’t really affect the mechanics of the game.

As for those mechanics, Bloody Western is an RPG in the style made ever so popular by Facebook’s SNG (social network games).  Take for example, Mafia Wars.  This is a very similar set up in terms of menus, but with some nice improvements on that model.  The theme and additional interactive modules leave Bloody Western head and shoulders above the competition, while preserving the aspects of Facebook’s SNG genre that make those games so irresistibly addictive.

The best interactive feature in the game is the dueling mode.  Like many SNG genre titles, you can choose from a live list of opponents to “duel.”  This still isn’t exactly a real-time operation, but now you can participate more than simply rolling the (invisible, virtual) dice.  In addition to just making savvy choices (who hasn’t banked their cash, who has lower stats than you), you can also hone your dueling skills to get better results.  Only the active player participates, so the results are instant.  Essentially, when you choose to duel another player’s character, a representation of that character appears and is peppered with bullets.  To increase your chances of winning, you tap each bullet as it’s encircled in red.  Perfect timing results in critical shots.  Don’t worry though, you won’t be bleeding cash too badly if you don’t log in to bank: perfecting dueling requires a ton of practice.  So stats are still king.

And remembering to put your goods in the strong box.  Speaking of the strongbox, that’s one of the few criticisms I have of the game.  Not of the system, but its implementation.  The problem is, to move gold from your stash to the strong box, you have to tap “withdrawal” rather than the far more intuitive “deposit.”  I left quite a bit of gold sitting around for a while and bought a lot of unnecessary businesses to avoid that because I thought it was bugged at first. Nope, just tap the button that makes no sense.  Hopefully they’ll fix that, or make it more clear, in the next update. Of course, another great feature is adding friends to your posse in the game, making it possible to progress farther.  That’s half the fun of social network type games.

In terms of visual and audio aesthetics, Bloody Western fits in with its other SNG company, with a bit of added polish and higher quality.  A gravelly whiskey-and-cigars saloon voice narrates your menu choices, there are plenty of gunshots to go around, and the illustrations are oh-so-Tombstone. It stands out even amongst other games for guys with a particularly rough and ready attitude.

Bloody Western is free in the iTunes App Store now, and it’s a fun way to interact with your friends while proving who’s the baddest gunslinger around.

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