Gamification engages the mind and helps you remember you things. The games below can teach you web development, or at the least, put you on the road to learning more: one of the aims of #NationalCodingWeek.
While there are some great educational games which are installed locally – I’m looking at you, Minecraft – I’m going to concentrate on browser-based games.
These online coding games are largely free – so there’s no excuse not to play and learn. Maybe you could learn game coding, and end up writing a game yourself! 😁
While there isn’t really a boundary between what’s suitable for kids vs. adults, I’ll cover both:
Simple code games for kids and teens (& adults!)
Coding games for adults (& some kids!)
Simple code games
This site is jam-packed with games for all ages, and although they offer paid versions, you can start for free. They range from the basic ‘tap’ games for children aged 5-9, more complex block-based learning for those aged 10-13, then more advanced stuff for those aged 14+.
Find out more at Tynker.com.
Boasting 20 million players, CodeCombat is a multiplayer RPG-style combat game, where you use your coding skills to vanquish the monsters.
It has some great collaborative features, like being able to create ‘websites’ with your own custom levels, and has a feature-packed free version.
Codemonkey have a range of children’s games, from the simple to advanced, illustrated by charming cartoon animals.
Their games use CoffeeScript – which compiles to JS – as well as Python. These games are subscription-based.
A cute but basic set of games aimed at the younger crowd, all completely free. You use block-based programming to carry out a number of different tasks. My favourite is ‘Bird’.
Star Wars: Building a Galaxy With Code
More block-based programming, but with Star Wars, and officially-approved by the Mouse in the Big House.
It may be super-basic, but it has John Williams’ music and BB-8 in it, so it automatically wins. 😉
Less a single game, but a whole ecosystem of games, created using the Scratch block-based language from MIT.
It’s a little like a social network, where you can code a game or experience and release it for others on the platform. There are loads of fun (and bizarre!) creations.
More advanced games to learn code
While the following are still suitable for the young ‘uns (no naughty words, as far as I’m aware!), some programming knowledge is required. So these are placed put broadly under the category of ‘coding games for adults’ – but anyone can try them!
SQL Murder Mystery
Learn and improve your SQL coding with this ‘whodunnit’ game from Knightlab – a real ‘killer app’…
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Codingame teaches through single and multiplayer turn-based games and community challenges. Languages include: Bash, C, C#, C++, Clojure, D, Dart, F# and Go.
It has some very pretty graphics:
On the other end of the graphic spectrum – but no less fun – Flexbox Defense is an addictive tower defence game created by Channing Allen.
Position your towers using CSS, then let waves of attackers test your guns to their limits.
This is a fantastic JS-based adventure game from Alex Nisnevich.
It may be top-down, but it ain’t simple! The synthwave/chiptune music also gives it extra appeal.
We wouldn’t be in the coding world without some anime ladies…
In Code Maven from Crunchzilla, your wholesome friend guides you through the HTML DOM canvas API.
She is also alongside in Game Maven, a more advanced version.
They got the elavator music worked-out perfectly!
CSS Diner helps you learn the basics of CSS selectors through the medium of cookery.
Beware – it may make you hungry…
Another CSS flexbox game, this involves you guiding a hapless frog to jump on lilly pads. Thankfully, no major highways to cross for this frog.
Learn CSS Grid by positioning carrots in a planter.
Another popular and addictive code-based game from Codepip.
Are you a Samurai coder? In Code Wars, you can test your skills against others in this online multiplayer game.
It supports over 55 coding languages, so there’s something for everyone here.
More for learning a coding tool, rather than a language, Vim Adventures teaches you the keyboard shortcuts for the VIM IDE. It looks like a classic JRPG. Only the first three levels are free, but they’re worth it.
Have fun and learn
These games are just a selection of our favourites: there are tons more out there.
If you want to learn or improve your coding skills, we’ve never had it so good for the quantity of online coding games. There may be a course or two as well…but who wants to go on a course when the games are so good? 🙂
Do you have a favourite? Give it a shout-out in the comments and tell us why!
Are you interested in a coding career? Read how the developers at 20i first got the programming bug: How we got into coding.
Prefer to learn by video? Check out 10 of the best YouTube channels for learning programming.