Have you ever thought about learning to program by playing a video game? Gamification has come to address all kinds of subjects, including learning how to program.

learn to program with these apps and games

There are many apps and games to learn programming: from basic and simple options designed for education to more advanced games to reinforce concepts. Here is a selection of the best apps and games to learn how to program.

Learn To Program With These Apps And Games

The Foos

In the city of Foosville live some small animals that need help to continue with their lives. The player, between 6 and 8 years old, will be responsible for offering it to them by solving challenges and puzzles with programming sequences. There are different levels: you start with the most basic one and, as you get bonuses, the level will increase.

Bit by Bit

An application created by a group of parents, educators and students that uses Game Based Learning to teach programming language from the age of seven. The game is composed of different puzzles that the player must solve by creating sequences of code. These resources, spread over three worlds, will increase in difficulty as levels are passed.

Think and Learn Code

Although it was released by Fisher Price along with a crawler robot designed to learn how to program, you do not need to have the device to use the application. Its operation is simple: the mission will be to guide a character through a maze by overcoming obstacles and challenges through sequences such as turning, following or stopping. It is designed for children between 3 and 6 years old.


This application, available for iOS and Android, teaches how to program in the JavaScript language and through a small grasshopper: the user has to overcome tests and small games that will increase its difficulty and in which it has the help of this animal. In addition to them, it also includes a section that explains some basic concepts such as ‘array’ or ‘script’.


With graphics reminiscent of some of the most popular console titles of the 1990s, it involves programming the movements of a robot in sequence to reach all the stars that appear on screen. It is a game with progressive difficulty that includes up to 100 different challenges.

Swift Playgrounds

Developed especially for iPad by Apple, it offers a gamma environment for learning the Swift programming language. This app is used by professionals around the world to create applications for iOS devices. Download for iOS.


With tutorials and guides and a complete programming environment, it is one of the most downloaded programming apps on the App Store. It offers a wide variety of colored blocks to combine to do the desired activities. It offers many free examples to learn and improve skills. Download for iOS.


Provides guides and tutorials to learn how to program in text-based languages such as Swift, Python, Ruby or Java. Very interesting for high school students who already have some experience with programming. Download for iOS.

Py – Learn to Code

It allows you to learn twelve programming languages from your mobile phone by solving questions and problems. It also offers 10 free programming courses for all users who download it. Download for iOS and Android.

Learn to program with Code.org

Perhaps there is no better platform for learning how to program, as it is designed specifically for this purpose. We’ve already talked about Code.org several times due to its introductory programming tutorials, suitable for all ages and including multiple protagonists such as Flappy, Angry Birds, Frozen, Minecraft or Star Wars. They also have a 20-hour course with different levels and aimed at various age groups (starting at 4 years old) and all completely free and available on their website. Educators will find it very interesting to create private classes in order to monitor the progress of their students.


Kodable is a platform that is presented to teach programming with only 20 minutes a week. It is specifically designed to be brought into the classroom by incorporating a digital private lesson model, in which the teacher will create his/her group and then invite all students to participate in it. It is available on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, iPad, Android) and also in ‘universal’ web format with two plans: one basic free and one advanced, paid.


SpaceChem is one of those games that seems far removed from programming as such, but actually makes use of it to solve puzzles and logical problems of all kinds. We will have a series of chemical resources and we will have to create machines, organize them or mix them in a certain way in order to find the final solution in each phase. Its creators, the Zachtronics studio, offer educators a complete guide that is worth looking at to learn about the benefits of this program, available for 9.90 euros on Steam, where it can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

Code Monkey

Code Monkey has become a well known platform for the dose of gamification included. It is a game in which we will have to advance phase by phase, like in Angry Birds or Candy Crush, solving different problems through the creation of small programs with code and a tremendously intuitive and visual interface, very attractive for the younger audience. The difficulty increases progressively from an initiation level to the most advanced modes and, like other options, it is also oriented to the classroom with a digital class mode. There are a few free levels and then plans for individual use, a class of 30 students or a whole school of over 100, for prices starting at $29 a year.

Code Combat

And we end up – for today – with another alternative of gamification. Code Combat is a web game to learn programming that meets and very well with expectations. We will put ourselves at the controls of a medieval character that should be advancing through the different levels of the game, solving the problems posed. It is multiplayer, completely free and, again, it is also adapted to be used in the classroom (it allows you to create classes). Although it can be used for beginners in programming, it is more oriented to secondary and high school, as with it we will learn advanced languages such as Python, Lua, Javascript or others that may be interesting at advanced ages or even university.


Originally a programming app that has ended up being a complete success with the public. Lightbot will help you to program simply by playing and advancing the different levels, in which you will have to order the robots to make certain moves and to fulfill some orders. A simple game available in two versions, one Junior (4-8 years old) and another one to teach kids from 9 years old. It is a paid game available on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac platforms, and if you want you can try some levels for free in a web version here.


Robots that are programmed? That’s right, Colobot is a video game with the most classic dyes in which you can control a few robots… but it won’t be that easy. There are no user controls, but you’ll have to program them through a text-based programming language. Aimed at teenagers and young people with some experience, it can be a lot of fun. It is available for Windows for about 70 euros.


An open source project designed for teenagers onwards, Robocode is a kind of robot ‘war’ game where we control one of the robots and take on other users. It is completely free and in its favor is the huge community and the pace of updating, which every few weeks receives new features.


A construction game to create your own robots, customized with the parts, controls and functions you want. Each one of them programmable, Machineers will allow you to put your programming knowledge into practice -or learn from zero- in a video game created in Denmark and that has gradually made its way into both the school and pre-university markets. Available for Windows and MacOS.

Daisy the Dinosaur

What about a platform for learning programming for young people? Daisy the Dinosaur will put us in the hands of Daisy, a small dinosaur that will guide us through small challenges and games in order to learn the basics of programming. Created by the Hopscotch team, it is free and available for iPad.


The Codea platform is an exclusive iPad app for programming and creating applications. So, as you read: you can create applications solely and exclusively using an Apple iPad, and this application is on sale for 16.99 euros. Codea is a programming environment just like any other that, complemented by the official website, we can use to gradually learn a programming language and its possibilities. An example of what can be created with Codea is Cargo-Bot, a simple but elegant and complete game of 36 levels in which we will handle a robot and will have to make it move different blocks. Here is its presentation trailer:


A game that is currently being developed, and whose creators promise that it will be on sale throughout 2017. It is called Codemancer and is designed to be used by children between 6 and 12 years old, providing a game-like environment in which we will manage a team that moves through a fantasy world, fighting enemies through programming. A very interesting aspect is that it aims to be gender neutral, so as to try to attract the attention of the female sex to the world of programming as well. You can now book it for $24.99 to download when it becomes available on Windows, Mac and Android systems.


In a science fiction environment, the TIS-100 is another programming game where you have to solve certain programming problems on one machine, the TIS-100. It will require us to study the present code and put the patches in place to solve it; it provides over 20 different puzzles and levels of incremental difficulty, all with programming as the basis that will allow us to understand and comprehend not so much a specific language, but aspects of computational thinking and logical reasoning.


Tynker is one of the best known and most widely used programming platforms in the education field, and should certainly be in this collection. For children from 7 years old, it provides a block programming environment that over time has been improved and added new features, and for example now also allow you to program Minecraft, robots like LEGO WeDo or even mobile apps. Everything in a very simple and intuitive way through thousands of different tutorials and guides to learn, from the most basic and elementary to advanced programming concepts … always with the youngest as a border. It offers some levels and free courses, as well as a subscription modality to unlock all the content completely.

Codeable Crafts

It mixes programming with art, drawing and creativity, allowing you to elaborate and design stories through programming blocks very similar to those in ScratchJr. Codeable Crafts has been developed precisely so that children, from 5 or 6 years old, can start to create through programming everything they can think of, and with very beautiful and really nice results with very little effort. Exclusive to mobile platforms, it is available for iOS and Android devices completely free of charge.


This application boasts the largest library of learning content for programming, of all difficulty levels and completely free of charge. You can choose from numerous topics to familiarize yourself with the concepts, refresh them or keep up to date.


It teaches programming language and allows children, ages 5-7, to create their own stories and games by simply fitting together graphic blocks that allow their characters to perform simple actions such as moving, jumping, dancing or singing. It has a great deal of creative freedom, including the ability to insert their own voices and even photographs.


The French video game platform for learning to program for free has a modern and dynamic operation, and allows learning at very different levels of difficulty: it is suitable for both children and adults. It includes more than 25 different programming languages.

Python Challenge

A different and entertaining option, since it is based on the resolution of 33 riddles. They can only be solved using the Python programming language.

Code Avengers

This paid platform, aud includes a free trial, offers a selection of very diverse games with which you can learn to accurately use different programming languages, including JavaScript or HTML, among others.

Check Io

It offers the possibility of programming puzzles and developing increasingly complex and intelligent functions. It is a platform that works with challenges: one user creates a puzzle and the rest have to compete to improve it. And to add to the excitement, winners get prizes.

Encode: Learn to Code

It includes short, simple, entry-level lessons to learn Python, JavaScript, HTML and CSS concepts and programming languages. It then encourages learning by doing, with multiple exercises, activities and interactive programming challenges. It works offline.

Programming Hub

It has a large collection of programs as sample code (more than 5,000) and more than 20 courses of all levels to learn programming in a variety of languages: Java, C, C + +, HTML, JavaScript and R. To take advantage of it is essential to know English.


Rather than helping with learning through lessons or practice, it works like a manual with references and explanations of a wide variety of programming languages, so it is quite suitable for those who already have some knowledge and need to solve specific doubts.


Available for iOS and Android, it groups its tutorials into five blocks depending on what you want to develop: websites, iOS or Android applications, video games or Python programs. This is another option only available in English. To advance from one lesson to another, it is necessary to accumulate virtual currencies, which are obtained daily, in exchange for seeing advertisements or buying them.