Designed and developed by Josh Sutphin, with an original soundtrack by John Axon.
Play Online | Download (Windows) | Download (Mac)

About the Game

There are two factions at war in Fail-Deadly, and both of them are your enemy. As a shadowy third party, your goal is to goad both factions into mutually assured destruction, thus paving the way for your own nefarious scheme. It’s a simple RTS in which you play both sides, trying to keep the battle alive — but nobody victorious — long enough for both factions’ nuclear arsenals to come online.

Awarded first place overall, Ludum Dare 18

“The final result is brilliantly compelling.” -Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Fail-Deadly is ingenious and simple… a weird, exciting, distinctly non-commercial idea.” -Edge Magazine

“Nicely drawn and featuring a strong original soundtrack, Fail-Deadly is a smart twist on overused ideas, and supremely polished too. This is an excellent effort, and well worth a download…” -PC Gamer

“Fail-Deadly has kept me coming back for more time after time in a season where my hard drive is dominated by multi-million dollar blockbusters.” -Growing Up Otaku

“It’s really cool. It’s an interesting twist on the RTS… but also a little creepy, am I right?!” -New Challenger

See all posts about this game
Official Fail-Deadly YouTube playlist


Download (IGF 2012 Edition)

Play Online
Download for Windows (21.1 MB)
Download for Mac (27.2 MB)


Main Theme
Battle Theme 1
Battle Theme 2
Battle Theme 3


35 thoughts on “Fail-Deadly

  1. Telp

    Hey Josh, I played your game the other day and I thought the idea was brilliant. That said, after playing the game I felt like you only scratched the surface of the concept’s potential.

    I went and wrote a “review” here:

    The gist of it is:
    1. Needs more units.
    2. Needs more complex network of counters than rock-paper-scissors.
    3. The AI should do most of the building on its own.
    4. Being “discovered” should be a risk when you interfere too often, not too little.

  2. Simon Mansfield (@Siyfion)

    Well so far, my best score is 546,350. But might I add that my PC nearly died at the end due to the load it was putting on a single core of the six that were available! Perhaps some multi-threading support might be a good addition?

  3. Bob

    I decided to play a round and keep the fighting going as long as I cared to. Ended up with these casualties: 3247 riflemen, 1308 tanks, 1169 choppers, 9 airstrikes, 17 barracks, 15 factories, 14 helipads and 16 pillboxes, with a final score of 202 060. Battle lasted 10:58 minutes.
    Mass murder and nuclear war is a lot of fun, this game has a unique puzzle mechanic and a really good soundtrack to boot. Nice work!