Fail Hard, a Windows Phone game for the stuntman in all of us

Fail Hard is an arcade styled game for your Windows Phone that has you assuming the role of a backyard stuntman who must conquer a wide range of obstacle courses.

The game has nine stages or environments that are filled with multiple levels of action. As you play the game, you will earn coins that can be used to upgrade existing gear or used to buy new equipment. Just be warned, you will crash and burn often with Fail Hard - much in the spirit of Fail Army, a favorite channel with the staff that highlights epic fails.

A universal game, available for Windows 8 and all Windows Phone 8, Fail Hard is a fun, nicely animated, challenging Windows Phone game that is a great option to consider when you need to kill some time.

Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride

The premise of Fail Hard is that you are an up and coming stuntman hoping to reach true stardom. The game has nine chapters or stages that you'll have to work your way through. You begin with the Learning the Basics stage that will walk you through the various aspects of game play. From there you'll start your career tackling stages that focus on platform jumps, winter stunts, urban environments and even a jungle stage.

Settings are accessible from the main menu and cover sound/music on or off and what appeared to be a reset button (got it wrong in the video) which actually is a button to invert your mid-air spins.

From the stage menu you will notice your coin count that can be used to upgrade or purchase new gear. Coins are earned as you complete each course or you can get a jump on things and pick up a few bags of coins through in-app purchases.

Each level is progressively unlocked and you are scored by a number of stars (1-3) and the requirement that at least one star is earned to advance to the next level. Additionally, you will need to earn a cumulative number of stars to unlock the next stage. So while you may be able to slide from level to level on scores of only one star, you may need to replay some of these levels for more stars so you can unlock the next stage.

Catching air

Before you jump into game play with Fail Hard a few screens will pop up prior to the start of each gaming level. You will start with an overview of the course, which leads up to your equipment screen where you can upgrade your gear or buy new stuff. Available upgrades include boosting a bike's speed, acceleration and spin velocity.

You also have an assortment of vehicles you can purchase that range from dirt bikes to mopeds to four wheelers. Then on top of that you can accessorize some of the vehicles with jetpacks and buy gear for your stuntman that includes helmets and jetpacks.

Once you get your gear set, you will be whisked away to the starting line of the course. You will have three runs to collect as many of the floating coins as possible. The more coins you collect and the more stunts (flips, catching big air, etc.) you perform the more points earned which results in more stars earned. To help you keep track of your scoring, a star meter sits at the top center of the game screen.

Game controls are straightforward. You have your accelerator in the lower right corner and your jump controls in the lower left. One jump control will raise the nose of your bike (the smaller up arrow) and the larger button will push the nose of your bike down. You can use these controls to perform mid-air flips or to balance your jumps for a smooth landing.

As mentioned before, you will crash and burn often with Fail Hard. If not while you are navigating the stunt course, at the end of it. You can time your crashes where your bike will go flying down the course, collecting additional coins along the way.

At the end of each run, you can share a snapshot of your stunts with your friends for bragging rights. You will also have opportunities for bonus coins as you reach certain levels of stars earned.

Overall Impression

Fail Hard is an entertaining and challenging Windows Phone game with an addictive touch. The graphics are nicely drawn up and it won't take long before you begin seeing how creative you can get with your crashes.

The more I played Fail Hard, the more the game grew on me. The mechanics will take a few runs to get used to but nothing terribly difficult.

The game is ad-supported but the ads only appear on the menu screens. The screens for game play are ad-free (nice touch) and if you make an in-app purchase the ads go away all together.

All in all, if you are looking for a fun time waster of a game check out Fail Hard. It is also available as a universal game for Windows 8 for those prefer gaming from a larger screen.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.