CodeCombat Fights Your Will To Learn JavaScript

The popular dynamic computer programming language, JavaScript, often strikes both awe and fear in the many trying to master the skill. A daunting sense of technicality often outweighs practicality when it comes down to learning from scratch, and classes are often an option between a textbook and a video. Introducing CodeCombat, here to save lives — literally.

Photo Credits: CodeCombat

Photo Credits: CodeCombat

A minute into the Tutorial Mode of the multiplayer browser game and our Adventurer was already stuck with an ogre. Gasping for help, the metal-plated man told us to delete Line 6’s “this.moveRight()”, and consecutively sprang free from the monster. Confused by what we just described? CodeCombat runs on lines of actual code, all aiming to seamlessly teach you throughout the gameplay, and its delivery method packs a strong punch. It may be lessons and revisions, but when everything is dressed up in medieval outfits, quality graphics, and a solid storyline; you better get ready to be addicted.

Photo Credits: CodeCombat

Photo Credits: CodeCombat

Well, addiction was exactly what the trio team aimed for with their alternative take on the coding classroom. The wizardry between George Saines, Scott Erickson and Nick Winter started when George had to learn JavaScript for their first project in 2008, the now-popular Japanese and Chinese language-education app Skritter. His experience saw weeks ricocheting around frustration and boredom because of the slow-paced information infusion; then he decided it was high time to fix the problem with a speedy twist. Engaging an user hook that explicitly states: “Users have to control their own human forces to march against Thoktar and his Ogre minions before it is too late.”; George’s efforts surpassed the hours he remembered spending with Codecademy.

The open-sourced game has since seen a healthy amount of happy participants with its win-win cycle of learning, free for all since 2013. Their addictive assurance comes armed with various difficulty-rated levels that will have players coding towards a specific goal until the hardest of all, the Gridmancer. It doesn’t stop there. Programmers regularly contribute their skills back by fixing bugs, pulling requests, upgrades, and patches to advance the levels further. Users enjoy the fruits, learn enough to contribute back, and advance the levels even more.

Photo Credits: CodeCombat

Photo Credits: CodeCombat

“Need to learn to code? You don’t need lessons. You need to write a lot of code and have a great time doing it. That’s what programming is about. It’s gotta be fun. Not fun like ‘yay a badge,’ but fun like ‘NO MOM I HAVE TO FINISH THE LEVEL!’ That’s why CodeCombat is a multiplayer game, not a gamified lesson course. We won’t stop until you can’t stop — but this time, that’s a good thing,” declared the team on their website. Matching skills to blows are their forte, and when they said that it was time to teach people to write code, they certainty meant business.

If you imagined the game to embody the ease of our description, then you are in for a treat. CodeCombat further challenges users both academically and mentality with their no-hand-holding policy (saved for their tutorial). This gives the right amount of pressure on users/learners for them to quickly adept the classes into key survival techniques; and with repetitive accomplishments into the game, coding (for the fun of it) is merely a keyboard combination away. After all, you DO need to pass that level.