This downloadable (for Windows-enabled PCs) title, developed by the folks at Dudedle Studio, is/was my first run-in with a bullet-hell shoot 'em up, and you know what? I enjoyed it so much that I'm eagerly awaiting my second such experience. Granted, Sugar Shooter isn't a run-of-the-mill bullet-hell shoot 'em up (or shmup, as they're often called)--rather, it's a boss-rush, bullet-hell shmup that's squarely aimed at the bara-loving set.
To those of you scratching your heads at any or all of the aforementioned "b" words (bara, boss-rush and bullet-hell), hopefully the following infor- mation will straighten things out: Sugar Shooter stars a beefy, gay prince named Satan (hmmm), who is tasked with protecting his precious Sugar Kingdom from a quartet of similarly studly baddies. (They're where the bara, or "Men's Love," aspect of the game comes into play, by the way.)
One by one, these baddies--backed by a bombastic, guitar-laden soundtrack and led by a bloke named Lord Sugarless--assault Satan with wave after wave of beautiful bullets. (Hence the genre's name: bullet-hell.) Satan isn't powerless against said bullets thanks to his "Dessert Ring" (hmmm again), which transforms oncoming projectiles into candy and increases the prince's "Sugar Level." Increasing the prince's Sugar Level accomplishes two things: 1) It enhances his base attack and 2) It allows him to perform a "Sugar Burst," which not only destroys everything within a certain distance of the prince but destroys his opponent's armor, too. That's important because you have to destroy an opponent's armor before defeat- ing them in order to see the best (i.e., most X-rated) ending scenes.
All of this is controlled with the left button on your mouse, by the way. Click it once to unleash Satan's auto-firing "Chocolate Gun" (hmmm for a third time) and click it again to stop attacking and start using his "Dessert Ring." You also click, hold and then release your mouse's left button to enter "Sugar Rush" mode, and then click it one last time to use Satan's "Sugar Burst." It feels a little odd at first if you're used to playing shoot 'em ups with a directional pad and buttons, but it quickly becomes second nature.
Don't worry if all of the above sounds annoyingly confusing or convoluted; in action, it's surprisingly simple to understand. It's not so simple to master, though--as evidenced by the fact that it took me a good 20 tries to topple the fourth and final boss (Lord Sugarless) on the game's easiest setting.
I don't share that fairly embarrassing tidbit to scare folks away from giving Sugar Shooter a try. On the contrary, I think gaymers who enjoy shoot 'em ups--bullet-hell or otherwise--and have $14.99 to blow will get a kick out of this Dudedle Studio-developed title.
See also: Other 'somewhat gay' reviews