I tried Hopscotch, the surprisingly powerful app that lets you make small games without coding

One of the most daunting parts of getting into computer programming is learning how to code. In many ways, it’s like diving into a new language.

But for those who want to learn more about coding but are perhaps intimidated by the steep learning curve, there’s Hopscotch, an iPhone and iPad app designed to help people create simple games by giving them a playground with objects to play around with, instead of a blank screen and blinking cursor.

The coding is done behind the scenes, and after trying it out, I was seriously impressed with what I could accomplish with Hopscotch in a short time.

If you, or someone you know is interested in learning the basics of how programming works I would highly recommend giving Hopscotch a shot. Here was my experience.

Hopscotch is colourful and fun right from the start. Creating a profile takes a minute, then you're able to get to the app's main menu.

Brandt Ranj

You're given the choice to make your own games, or play others. Before hopping into the creation tools, I decided to see what others had made, to get an idea of how powerful the tools were.

Brandt Ranj

Turns out they're pretty powerful. Enough to create clones of Doodle Jump...

Brandt Ranj

... And Slither.io. These versions aren't as polished as their professionally made counterparts, but they get the basic mechanics down near-perfectly.

Brandt Ranj

This is Hopscotch's creation interface. The first thing you need to do is select an object: I started by selecting a shape. You can also choose to preview and play your game at any point.

Brandt Ranj

Once you've selected an object (in this case I picked a heart) you can tell it when to perform an action, when it's tapped or pressed, for example.

Brandt Ranj

Then you select what you want to have happen a person interacts with that object in that way. I decided to have the heart change colour, and the cupcake spin and dance. The process is very intuitive.

Brandt Ranj

You can create as many actions to one variable as you'd like. Once I had my variables in place it was time to see how the game looked.

Brandt Ranj

The preview button creates a smaller-sized, but fully-interactive, version of your app. I decided mine needed some fine tuning.

Brandt Ranj

For this game I decided to add some text, to give the player some guidance.

Brandt Ranj

Perfect. It's not going to win any awards, but it only took ten minutes for me to create a mini game with two fully interactive variables, without writing a line of code.

Brandt Ranj

And here it is in action!

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