5 free games that’ll turn you into a pro programmer

free programming games
Learning how to code doesn't have to be boring. Source: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

The best free programming games are not only fun, but can help us overcome our fear of coding.

Coding is the technical form of communication that computers understand. In other words, it’s computer language — popular ones you’ve heard include JavaScript and Python.

As more companies go digital, skills like coding are popping up in STEM courses to meet this demand.

Learning to code from scratch may seem impossible at the start. Online courses or books can help but there are free programming games that make things more fun.

Check out these five free programming games that’ll teach you to code like a pro:

1. Flexbox Zombies

Flexbox Zombies is one of the most comprehensive programming games to explore if you’re looking to be proficient in CSS Flexbox.

CSS Flexbox makes it easier to design flexible responsive layout structures without using float or positioning.

Launched in 2017, the game acts as a training course driven by a storyline where you use Flexbox and a crossbow to hunt zombies.

The brain behind this is David Geddes who is also the creator behind Mastery Games, the platform on which Flexbox Zombies is launched on.

It has the whole package of an addictive game: awesome visuals, a great storyline and a soundtrack. Not to mention it’s also completely free!

Just create an account and you can start playing. You have to work through all the levels in the game but once completed, you’re guaranteed to be familiar with coding,

2. Code Combat

Another on the list of free programming games is Code Combat. Perfect for all ages, the game supports two programming languages: JavaScript and Python.

While JavaScript is used across every website, the creators understand it may be difficult for beginners to learn hence it offers the option to choose between both languages.

The developers also spent time consulting with specialists to craft classroom materials specifically for teachers who may not have any prior computer science experience.

In fact, many schools have implemented Code Combat as the main computer science curriculum.

In Code Combat, you’ll learn programming core concepts by battling through hundreds of levels in the programming language of your choice.

3. CodinGame

programming games

Aude Barral is a French entrepreneur and founder of CodinGame. Source: Pascal Guyot/AFP

For those looking to dive into the world of coding, CodinGame is among the best free programming games to start with.

The browser-based game supports more than 25 different languages (including JavaScript, PHP, and Ruby).

The courses were created by top developers and allow you to learn new languages, tricks, and algorithms quickly.

It also helps you work on problem-solving skills and programming basics through a turn-based game.

What’s more, it allows you to practise, learn, and eventually compete in international contests to show off your coding skills.

As you play and strengthen your profile, you can opt in and enable companies to see your profile.

The best part is that it’s collaborative! Get your friends or colleagues in on this game and have fun learning how to code together.

4. JS Robot

If you played Mario, you’d notice how JS Robot is similar in terms of the game interface and game mechanics.

All you have to do is control a robot to collect coins, avoid obstacles and reach the flag at the end of the level.

It’s a super simple game concept with the challenge of learning JavaScript to play.

5. SQL Murder Mystery

SQL is an abbreviation for Structured Query Language which refers to domain-specific language used in programming and designed for storing, manipulating and retrieving data in databases.

SQL Murder Mystery is a great game regardless of how experienced you are with the language. There are also different tutorials depending on your learning goals.

You will notice that you are given the option to start the game as either a beginner or an experienced individual.