Learn How to Code by Playing Games [Updated]

[Updated]: New Game has been added. 29/05/2015.

Games has taken us by storm. We all love games to some extent and always want to escape from the amazing virtual world the games offers us.

According to a popular TED talk by Jane McGonigal, Gaming is a worldwide phenomenon with most of its participants in their teenage. The most impressive fact that was told by her is the amount of hours gamers put in during the tenure of just 3 years. It’s whopping 10,000 hours.

And, that’s a lot. According to Malcolm Gladwell, 10,000 hours is what we need to change our fortunes. Yes, it is what makes us super-human capable of learning complex skills and master it.

With so much at stake, we as teens or post-teens stage are compelled to use our time playing games. And, there is a heavy debate on how much time waste it is.

For the positives, Gaming can change on how our mind works and improve our cognitive skills, especially those who are affected by autism, ADHD, and other brain diseases.

On the other hand, Coding is the 21st-century essential skills and there are tons of online articles that argue on the same topic of how important is for the next generation to learn coding. With the everyday technological advance, there is no doubt that the future needs more technician and coders. Now is the right time to learn how to code as there are tons of resource available. Recently, I discussed Top 8 Websites for Online Learning and also listed some of the interesting free courses to improve your tech skills.

Now, comes the big deal as I am going to list resources to learn coding by playing games. The main motive is to help learn coding through gaming and there are already tons of initiative done by many communities and developers across the internet.

Learn How to Code by Playing Games


0. Empire of Code

Empire of Code is a new RPG action game that is based on coding through the challenges. Currently, the game is only available in closed beta. You can check their homepage for more information.

The game will be solved by two best programming languages, JavaScript and Python.

1. CodeCombat

CodeCombat is one of my favorite free to play code games. With so much emphasis on code completion, interesting dungeon creation, and RPG based style combat, I am all in for this game.

The game can be played in many languages including JavaScript, Python, Clojure and others. The game is completely beginner friendly and has high fun-factor. The code is put directly into the right side of the browser and the left side of the browser showcases live game movements!

The game surely engages the audience with level-ups, armor and other forms of RPG elements. Moreover, they host game competitions and the winners get tons of cool prizes including money. The game also have a paid version where more elements are unlocked. The paid version comes for only $9.



2. CodeInGame

CodeInGame is yet another game-oriented coding website. The website user-interface is great and offers control over different things.

CodeInGame is more focused on matured audience and provides challenging content. They also have their game version for companies and help them hire the best talent on the market. I kinda love the platform, but the website user interface can be a bit confusing on the first visit.

Also, the choice of programming languages really makes it above par. It supports tons of programming language and you can change programming language on the go.


3. Check.io

Check.io is one of my favorites considering the fact that all the programming challenges can only be solved by Python. This can be considered as a constraint or a way to popularize coding using python and cool islands.

At the start of the game, you will have two islands unlocked, home and library. The game is well-documented and you can easily find resources if you are stuck. To unlock more island and proceed you need to solve puzzles. If you fail, hmm, just try again or take help of the community.


4. BetaTheGame

BetaTheGame is a unique way to combat programming and teaching it to the kids using a simple tweet based programming language. It is a great platform builder and offers great control to kids.

Kids can enjoy the game and build great platforms for themselves and their buddies.

The game can be played on trial basis. If you are interested to play the full version, you need to buy the full version.


5. Tynker — Hour of Code

Code.org, in past, have come up with the hour of code that motivates anyone to pick up the keyboard and code for at least an hour. The main motive of the hour of code is to make people take the interest in coding and eventually pick the art in the long run.

Tynker is all about programming that propagates from kids to more advanced users and all the lessons are through game programming. With a wide range of audience targeted, 24,190,127 tynkers have already completed their honor of code.

For me, learning through games are something new and novel and I have yet to explore more into the amazing fun-filled journey that come with learning and excitement.


6. CodeMonkey

Banana’s and Monkey and you get a game that teaches you how to code. I really love the theme of the game that teaches how to code. CodeMonkey is targeted at a different level of audience and clearly manages to attract anyone with its theme and music! A great experience indeed.


To know more about the gameplay of the game, watch the video.

7. HackNSlash

Coding through gaming is not new. There are many players in the market that are taking the approach of gaming through manipulating different parameters and presenting them into one a package that is worth playing.

HackNSlash is one of those games that takes coding a lit bit seriously and yes you have to buy the game to play it. The game is focused on manipulating the code that run the code, finding flaws and creating an environment that is completely changeable by the player.

The game looks promising and the game has managed to get a mixed review on the official steam page.


Wrap Up

Learning How to Code by playing games is a fun way to attract kids and grown-ups in the world of coding. All the platforms, I discussed today are free to play. The only platform or game that is not free to play is HackNSlash.

Do you think I missed a game that should be in the list? Comment below and let us know. I will update the list accordingly. Also, share the article with your friends!

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