Bullet Candy is a frenetically paced shmupper's shmup ("shooter" to the casual folks out there), a purified genre piece that thrills in its simplicity—you can download a fairly meaty demo for Windows and Mac OS X.
Moving your ship around a single screen fighting space, and aiming with the mouse, you control a blistering battle with all the grace of a figure skater armed with an AK assault rifle. The simplicity of the controls is inviting even to those uninitiated to the top-down shooter genre, and pretty soon you'll find yourself dancing through bullets and careening to a x10 score multiplier.
Created by a one-man development team, Bullet Candy is a highly polished example of "scratchware", a quality game produced on a scratch budget. The man is selling his creation for ten dollars, which is a real bargain considering the number of modes and replay value in the game. Asteriods mode is like the arcade classic amped on crystal meth, surviving even two minutes in there is an intense, heart-pounding achievement. Survival mode is more, well, survivable, but becomes similarly heated. An international high scores table invites players to strive for greatness, extending the replay value considerably and driving the truly hardcore to train like Rocky Balboa in front of the computer screen. The only real flaw is that the controls, as elegant as they are, could be further improved: the mouse targeting adjusts only on a rotational axis, the distance of the cursor from the ship is immaterial. If the targeting cursor was constrained to the immediate rotation of the ship it'd be easier to aim in a clinch, instead of having to drag your targeting cursor all the way across the screen.
Bullet Candy's controls might qualify it to be a "casual" shoot-em'-up, but its not for everyone. Those who can sip their own adrenaline like a twelve year old Pinot wine should definitely consider giving it a try. For fans of the genre, Bullet Candy is a game you can come back to years later.