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10 Best Coding Games to Advance Your Programming Skills

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Do you remember the old childhood days when you used to spend the entire day and sometimes even skipped meals to play Nintendo games (Ah, the days of Mario and Contra!!!)


Though, since that time, Gaming has undergone a gigantic transformation and the incorporation of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Cloud, and others have made it more extensive and revolutionary. As per the reports, there are around 300 Million gamers across the nation and the number is increasing significantly.

But wait…!! What’s there for you?  

Okay, so as mentioned above that gaming has become such a vast territory in itself – you need to understand that now Gaming is no more only a hobby (yes, you heard it right). From a programmer’s perspective, there are a lot of coding games available over the web and you can use these gaming platforms to learn and sharpen your programming skills in a more entertaining way. You can make use of these coding games as fun breaks during your learning process to get refreshed with practicing your coding skills simultaneously.

Moreover, it will also help you to empower your creativity and problem-solving skills as you need to solve various challenging problems and have to compete with various proficient programmers across the world.

Here, in this article, we’ve figured out several worthwhile coding games that’ll surely help you to level up your programming skills:

1. Untrusted

The Continuing Adventures of Dr. Eval!

Untrusted is an online adventure game designed for individuals who want to practice and test their JavaScript skills. In this game, you’re required to use JavaScript commands to guide Dr. Eval through a machine continuum and alter his reality to get freedom. The game provides you with a rogue-like gaming environment and a console window with the JavaScript code generating each level. And you’d be able to access all the source codes but to save yourself, you need to make the required changes to the source code.

The game has multiple levels such as the cellBlockA in which you need to figure out the code that generates the walls and remove it, the theLongWayOut in which you need to create a new exit, and many more. The game is quite a fun journey if you possess some good knowledge of JavaScript concepts and programming. The interface of the game looks like:


2. Robocode

Wouldn’t it be great to practice your coding skills by programming the robot tanks that fight against each other (sound exciting, right?).

Yes, you can do the same with this renowned game – Robocode. Robocode allows you to develop a robot battle tank using programming languages like Java or .NET to battle against other tanks. You need to write the AI for the robot to let it know what to do and how to reacts to events happening in the battleground.

The game is very useful to learn & practice several programming languages such as Java, Scala, and C#. It also helps you get into the Artificial Intelligence domain. Moreover, Robocode provides you with a complete development environment and comes up with its own installer, built-in robot editor, & Java compiler. Also, Robocode is an Open Source project and you all are welcome to come up with your own add-ons or modes to showcase your development skills.


3. Elevator Saga

Elevator Saga helps you to showcase your JavaScript skills in the context of programming the movement of elevators to transport people efficiently. There are various challenges such as transport 15 people in 60 seconds or less, etc. and the challenges gradually become harder. You need to come up with an optimized algorithm to reduce the waiting time for the passengers. The game is indeed very beneficial to work on your JavaScript skills and algorithm optimization approaches.

Moreover, the interface of Elevator Saga is quite simple as all you need to enter your code in the input window and click on the Apply button to start the challenge. Some of the code examples for Elevator Saga are given below to give you a broad idea:

  • To inform the elevator to go to Floor 1: elevator.goToFloor(1);
  • To stop the elevator if it is moving: elevator.stop();
  • To gets the floor number that the elevator currently is on: elevator.currentFloor(); and many more.
Elevator Saga

4. Vim Adventures

If you often struggle with using the VIM code editor, then Vim Adventures is surely meant for you!! Vim Adventures is an online game that allows you to learn VIM keyboard shortcuts and other prominent VIM concepts in an entertaining & interesting way with the help of a Zelda-like game environment. This game makes it easier to learn and understand this powerful text editor, Vim, that subsequently helps you to become a more efficient programmer.

Meanwhile, at the start of the game, you’re only able to move in four directions (left, right, up & down) and as the game progresses, you come across other aspects such as talking to people, collecting items & keyboard buttons, etc. Every keyboard key is added to the set of commands that you can give the cursor until you become an expert with VIM. Also, whenever you pick up a keyboard key, each time an explanation of the working of the key & its uses is shown to you for better understanding.

Vim Adventures

5. CodeCombat

CodeCombat is majorly recommended to those individuals who are having little or even zero experience in programming as it not only helps you to practice your coding skills but also provides you with a remarkable learning process within the game format. You can get to learn various programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Lua, etc. through the game. You need to write the code in any of these languages to tell the character what it requires to do. Moreover, the game starts with simple puzzles and challenges and the difficulty level then progresses gradually. And yes, various tutorials are also included in the game to become proficient with the language syntax.

Furthermore, CodeCombat is an open-source project and you’ll not be able to learn & play but you can also contribute to source codes to add new features, fix bugs, etc. to level up your programming game. What else you need?  


6. Flexbox Defense

Flexbox Defense is indeed one of the best ways to strengthen your knowledge and skills of CSS Flexbox! It is actually a Tower Defense Game where you’re required to stop the incoming enemies from getting past your defenses by moving the towers into position so these turrets can shoot the invading enemies before they go over you. You’re required to use the ‘justify-content’ property on the tower group container to position your towers. Several most common values accepted by ‘justify-content’ property are as follows:

  • flex-start: Group items at the start of the main axis
  • flex-end: Group items at the end of the main axis
  • center: Group items in the center
  • space-around: evenly distribute items along the main axis such that all items have equal space around them, etc.

There are many other CSS Flexbox properties also that are being used in the game such as align-items, flex-direction, order, and several others.  

Flexbox Defense

7. Code Hunt

Another mention in the list that can help you to practice and advance your programming skills within the gaming environment is Code Hunt. It is a coding game from Microsoft Research where you solve a series of coding puzzles to complete various rounds. Meanwhile, it works on a creative and unique format where each puzzle is presented with test cases only and no specification is provided. You’re first required to identify the pattern and then code the solution. Code Hunt allows you to get proficient with 2 renowned languages – Java and C#. It is actually designed in such a way to teach you the fundamentals of these two languages.  

As it is from the leading player Microsoft, Code Hunt is being preferred by millions of students (and even professionals as well) across the world and if you’re looking forward to strengthening your skill of Java or C# programming in a more entertaining way, you can surely give it a try.  


8. CheckIO

CheckIO is a coding game that allows you to enhance your programming skills, particularly for two languages – Python and TypeScript. The game is recommended to beginners as well as advanced programmers to level up the coding skills as it provides you with numerous exciting challenges of different complexity levels to solve. Every set of these challenges is positioned at a distinct island and users need to solve the required coding challenge or puzzle to traverse from one island to another. Also, the enriching and supportive community of CheckIO helps you to share knowledge & experiences with various brilliant minds across the world.

Even, you won’t believe that CheckIO is used by various teachers and instructors in their training programs or classes to help students for practicing coding skills. Moreover, the game is highly customizable and you all are always welcome for any kind of contribution or collaboration for the game.


9. Screeps

Here comes another popular coding game for all the programmers – Screeps! It is an online real-time strategy game that requires you to have at least some basic knowledge of programming. In this game, you’re required to create your own colony in a particular world shared with all the players. And the colony will be able to mine resources, build units and conquer territory. Moreover, the units need to be programmed to react to the events and you can program them using JavaScript programming language. You also need to know that writing a script for Screeps is no different from writing for any other JavaScript application. And you can also divide your scripts into modules via Node.js like syntax to make it more convenient.

Furthermore, you can also use other languages like C++, etc. also and can compile them through WebAssembly. Also, Screeps allows you to contribute to the game engine development and you can modify the behavior of game objects.


10. CSS Diner

Lastly there comes CSS Diner – a programming game that helps you to practice and master your CSS skills. The game helps you to command over CSS selectors through all the 32 levels incorporated in the game. And the difficulty level of each round gets gradually tougher as the game progresses. The game consists of various exciting levels depending on several prominent attributes such as id, classname, empty, first-child, only-of-type, and many others. Moreover, in case if you want a hint to solve a particular level, all you need to do is hover over the items on the table and view their HTML markup.

The game will provide you with a better understanding of targeting particular elements in HTML and CSS & it subsequently will help you to traverse DOM elements when it comes to JavaScript. And the best part is that you can play CSS Diner in your browser without any charges or hassle like login, account creation, etc.  

CSS Diner

Several other programming games that can also be taken into consideration are Codewars, SQL Murder Mystery, and Duskers. Needless to say, almost every tech enthusiast is somehow inclined towards gaming. And with these above-mentioned renowned coding games, you can advance your programming skills in a more entertaining and adventurous way. Though, you’re recommended to not compromise with your ongoing learning process and make use of these games for a limited time as the excess of anything is always unfavorable. Do remember that if you’ll use these games productively, they will surely help you to hone your programming ability!!

Last Updated : 03 Mar, 2021
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