Rocky's Boots 2009
February 26, 2009 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Games with programming / coding ?

When I was a kid there was Rocky's Boots and Robot Odyssey - puzzle games that had elements of programming logic and coding in them. Recently I ran across a game called Light-Bot, and it got me wondering if the hive mind could recommend other fun games involving programming?

(Note - I'm not talking about code puzzles like Project Euler.)

Thanks in advance.
posted by blahtsk to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
The Codex of Alchemical Engineering
posted by pompomtom at 4:24 PM on February 26, 2009

Core-Wars is an old one. A simple assembly-like language called Redcode is used to write a short combat program (typically 5 to 20 lines of code). Two or more of these programs are then run in an arena of RAM (with a visual display showing what's going on) and the one that destroys/corrupts/outlasts the others is the victor.
The downside is that it's been around long enough that the best combat programs are quite difficult to beat, so people don't have much interest in trying to write new combat programs - it's played out.
The upside is that it is a quick and simple introduction to aspects of assembly-style programming.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:29 PM on February 26, 2009

For a fun neural-net style of programming game Bug Brain
posted by -harlequin- at 4:32 PM on February 26, 2009

For a programming toy that extends out into the real world, I highly recommend Lego Mindstorms. This set can be used as everything from a simple toy to a surprisingly sophisticated robotics platform. Building real devices really teaches you the difference between theory and reality. And the Lego system allows your prototype and modify and iterate on designs very rapidly (which means rapid experience to learn from too). It comes with a simple programming system that you do on the PC then wirelessly send to the Lego, but enthusiasts (with Lego's support) have built free alternative programming environments that leverage the power of full-fledged programming languages, like C. It's really a very good system.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:45 PM on February 26, 2009

posted by Electrius at 5:48 PM on February 26, 2009

Lists and Lists does this but it's barely a game, more like an introductory Scheme tutorial with game-like elements.
posted by phoenixy at 6:16 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you have the ability to play original playstation games, I really enjoyed Carnage Heart back in the day.
posted by fellion at 6:52 PM on February 26, 2009

P-Robots, C-Robots, Robocode (J-Robots)
posted by sandking at 7:28 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Okay, this is hacking and not programming, but you might dig Uplink...
posted by Jinkeez at 8:18 PM on February 26, 2009

I remember playing Robowar on my Mac IIci, now it looks like it's an open-source Windows game.
posted by gamera at 8:40 PM on February 26, 2009

Fantastic Contraption, which isn't programming specifically, but is what I'll call an "iterative design" game.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:39 PM on February 26, 2009


Way oldschool, but I had a lot of fond memories of that. No clue whether you could find a playable version these days.
posted by cali59 at 10:00 PM on February 26, 2009

I see ChipWits has been updated from the 1984 Mac version for PC/Mac running on Adobe Air.
posted by Sparx at 3:01 AM on February 27, 2009

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