For a lot of kids, the idea of eventually being able to build their own video game sounds like a dream come true. Learning to code a game is an awesome goal, but it is hard to know where to start. With so many different coding languages and development platforms, learning the basics of game development can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. 

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There’s a way to make game development easy. Kids and professional developers alike have gotten their start with a simple drag and drop, using Scratch. If you’re a beginner who’s not familiar with writing code, build a Scratch game as a fun and easy way to start coding games.

What is a Scratch Game?

At this point, you’re probably wondering “Just what is a Scratch game?” That’s simple! 

A Scratch game is any game that is built using the Scratch platform, created by MIT in order to help kids get started with coding. Scratch is a super flexible block-based programming language that allows kids to code in an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. 

Scratch hello world
The Scratch platform

Essentially, bits of code are embedded in pre-made blocks. These blocks fit together in any number of ways to build a program or game. Scratch uses real code to make programs do what you want, but simplifies the process for coders who are just getting started.  

The simplest blocks do little more than move pictures across a screen, but those blocks of code can be combined to allow for a game with player interaction. You can keep adding blocks and the game gets more complex, but the system used to build it stays just as simple. With a little time and perseverance, anybody can create awesome Scratch games to play with their friends!

Recommended: Scratch Coding: Benefits, Tips, and Resources

Types of Scratch Games for Kids

Before we go into how to make Scratch games we should talk a bit about the different types of games that you can code in Scratch. Each kind of game has its own mechanics that make it distinct, but many games combine elements from multiple games to add to the fun!

Types of scratch games, scroller game

Scroller

A Scroller is a 2D game where the background moves, or scrolls, behind the player while they try to achieve some task. Often this task is fighting through waves of enemies, jumping from platform to platform, or dodging obstacles. Scrollers can typically be divided further into side-scrollers and vertical-scrollers.

Popular examples of Scratch scrollers are Game – Undercover Sabotage and Bug Game.

Types of scratch games, Platformer game

Platformer

Platformers are a kind of game where the player jumps from platform to platform to achieve their tasks. Many platformer games are also scroller games, but not all. Alongside 3D platformers, there are also some platform games where the background doesn’t move behind the player.

Popular examples of Scratch platformers are Chilean Miner’s Escape 2 and Egg.

Types of scratch games, RPG game

RPG

RPG stands for Role-Playing Game. In an RPG, the player takes control of a character or a group of characters and moves them through a story. Typically RPGs allow the player to make improvements to their characters, like teaching them new skills or increasing their strength, but the main focus of the game is the story. 

Popular examples of Scratch RPGs are SIMPLE RPG 3 and Funkemon – Groova Region.

Types of scratch games, tycoon game

Tycoon

Tycoon games are all about the money. The goal of a tycoon game is to increase profits by designing the best… whatever. While the relative lack of moving parts means that some players may overlook Tycoon games, the depth of strategy and systems building in them brings other players back again and again. 

Popular examples of Scratch tycoon games are Investment_Chart_Game_2.0.2 and Lemonade Stand.

Types of scratch games, maze game

Maze

Mazes got their start way back in the good ol’ days of pencil and paper, but they’re still going strong today. They are one of the easier Scratch games to code and can be an excellent choice for your first time coding games in Scratch. 

Popular examples of Scratch mazes are mirrored maze and Random Maze Generator.

Types of scratch games, pong game

Pong

Pong! Pong was one of the very first video games to be developed and was an absolute hit when it debuted in 1972. It is a game where players use a paddle to keep a ball from going through their goal. It is best described as a sort of virtual air hockey.

Popular examples of Scratch pong games are Pong Starter and Ping pong game.

Types of scratch games, dress up game

Dress Up Games

Dress Up games revolve around dressing up a character in different outfits. They often focus more on imaginative play and can be a great starting point for coding a Scratch game. It’s like the stand-alone version of a character customization screen found in many other video games.

Popular examples of Scratch dress up games are Dress Up and Mabel’s Dress Up.

Types of scratch games, online multiplayer games

Online Multiplayer Games (Cloud)

Online Multiplayer Games are games that invite players to play together over the internet. While Cloud games actually can be made in Scratch, there are a number of restrictions on who can join in on the fun.

Popular examples of Scratch online multiplayer games are Math Racers and The Elves of Fitzgerald Online!

Types of scratch games, cat and mouse game

Cat and Mouse

Cat and Mouse games are all about keeping the mouse away from the cat that’s chasing it. This is another very simple game type and a great choice for those just starting out with Scratch.

Popular examples of Scratch cat and mouse games are Cat and Mouse and A Game of Cat and Mouse

Types of scratch games, collecting game

Collecting games

Collecting games can have a variety of mechanics, but the main point of the game is always about collecting things. Whether that’s food, coins, or whatever else all depends on the game! 

Popular examples of Scratch collecting games are Snake and