Version Reviewed: 1.0.8
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Fail Hard is a physics-based motorbike game that makes a wannabe stuntman jump through some pretty rough hoops (sometimes quite literally).
From the get-go, one thing I definitely had trouble with was controlling 'Johnny' while he was airborne. Whereas Bike Baron got its balance mechanics spot-on, Fail Hard's system often feels counter-intuitive, difficult, and just plain wrong. That's because players need to press on the left side of the screen to lean forward in mid-air, and on the right to speed up/lean backwards. Once I figured out how this backwards way of doing things worked (without the help of any hints or tutorials I may add) I was actually okay, but still far from comfortable and often frustrated.
Fortunately, the entertaining level design makes up for it. Since it's possible to effectively 'double jump' in Fail Hard (pressing the jump button a second time will launch Johnny from his bike while in mid-air), it means that some levels have two different routes to navigate - whether it be down a slide or onto the back of a pickup truck. It gives the game that extra bit of replay value, since players will have to retry the level multiple times to get those pesky level-unlocking coins. With a large variety of cartoony levels, including the notable stages in which Johnny makes use of a rocket backpack or makeshift wings, Fail Hard keeps players guessing with its many surprises.
Despite taking obvious influence from a certain mustachioed maverick and his cat, Fail Hard's use of interactive environments, multi-faceted stages, and pure playability make it a great casual game for quick sessions on the go. While the controls are in dire need of some adjustment, there is still plenty of fun to be had with it.