A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Android

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

**UPDATE** Mac & PC Builds now have translated text in Spanish, French, German and the original English!

Codemancer brings the mystery of magic and the exhilaration of learning to code together in a fantasy universe that uses spell casting as a way to teach and learn programming skills. Codemancer’s fantasy universe is filled with rival sorcerers and their minions for players to encounter along their journey. Codemancer is a non-violent, entertaining, and educational game designed to be inclusive and accessible to learners at any stage. Features include a gender-neutral fantasy setting with a female protagonist, a narrative backbone, and a programming interface that’s designed to be easy to understand by kids with varying degrees of skill and experience. Codemancer breaks down barriers that may have discouraged some kids from embracing technology and elevates their screentime to be more productive and entertaining.  It isn’t a typical coding or technology game.

WHAT IS CODEMANCER ALL ABOUT?   

Codemancer tells a moving story about Aurora, a young, creatively talented girl who’s trying to grow up, become independent, and do good in the world in the face of incredible obstacles when her father is suddenly kidnapped. Aurora has to embark on an adventure to save him as she grows into a gracious and independent young woman. She must learn magic spells to save her father, but the magic used in Aurora’s world works the same as programming does in ours. Inspire children to explore their potential as they discover the magic of coding.

CODEMANCER IS AN EDUCATIONAL GAMING ADVENTURE:   

  • Codemancer is designed for 6 to 12 year olds as an educational game that teaches the magic behind coding—and can be fun for grownups, too!

CODEMANCER SPECIFICALLY TEACHES:

  • Sequential Algorithms
  • Debugging
  • Function Arguments
  • Scope
  • Looping Constructs
  • Concurrent Programming

...AND TEACHES IN GENERAL:

  • Computational Thinking
  • Planning
  • Problem Solving
  • Resilience

CODEMANCER FEATURES:

  • A narrative inspired by popular works of young adult fantasy worlds such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Neverending Story, The Last Airbender, and many more!
  • Gameplay that takes place in a hexagonal world, making it easy to estimate distances and angles by eye. 
  • 'Freeze time' ability, so players can debug the programs they've written and potentially code their way out of a jam to learn from their mistakes.
  • Availability for PC, Mac, iPad, and Android tablets.

CODEMANCER IS STRUCTURED FOR ACCESSIBILITY AND INCLUSIVITY:   

  • The goal of Codemancer is to be as broadly inclusive as possible by creating a gender-neutral fantasy setting with a female protagonist, a narrative backbone, and language interface that’s designed to make the game appeal to kids at different skill levels. 
  • Codemancer breaks down barriers that can hinder some kids from feeling comfortable with engaging with programming, for example Codemancer uses pips (like on a die) instead of numerals, and sets the gameplay in a hexagonal world that makes it easy to estimate distances and angles by eye. 
  • No syntax errors -- if you can enter a spell, it will run. Syntax errors can be frustrating and cause learners to quit before they really begin.
  • Codemancer uses an open dyslexic font, where letters are designed to look distinctly different from each other to make reading easier for kids with dyslexia.
  • The game is fully voiced, so reading is completely optional.
  • Codemancer's programming language is designed to be accessible, but also translates easily to a variety of popular real-world programming languages (such as Python).
  • Codemancer appeals to many educational groups, from children with special needs for reading, to younger children new to coding, to older children with more advanced coding and programming skill sets. 
  • Codemancer has the potential to reach under-represented groups in coding and teach them an often-exclusionary, but nonetheless important, 20th-century skill.


Purchase

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Codemancer.msi 87 MB
CodemancerChapter1-0.0-mac_standalone.zip 131 MB
Codemancer.apk 84 MB

Also available on

Comments

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My daughter is loving this game. We just got stuck on the first level where the dad is kidnapped. What's the objective? We reach the end but it doesn't seem possible to make it to the glowing circle before the copter. The copter is not attackable...?

I eventually figured this out by starting a new game. The issue resolved when I used a repeat rune instead of just listing out all the moves. Still, it's a bug that the copter doesn't always disappear when it reaches the end of the level. Unfortunately I haven't been able to reproduce the error on my new save file.

Thanks for letting us know!

Hi, can you please help other developer to enable "pay by card" (you have this option, but he doesn't) ? I asking him to enable it, but seems he does not know how to do https://itch.io/t/1010364/cant-pay-by-card#post-2082504

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I love the game! As someone who teaches coding to kids, I appreciate not only the clarity of the code itself, but the lovely art and story (which is often missing in these type of coding teaching games).

I found one level design "bug" (with potential for more similar ones). Should I just comment that, or is there another communication channel for such things?

Well, back to solving levels :D

I'm so happy to hear that!  Happy to hear about level issues.  Thank you!

Alright ... SPOILERS AHEAD ... you have been warned!

In this level

you can stop them escaping with the dad, by the following program:

0:
Jump
Left
Cast (1)

1:
Attack

Of course you will not progress with the game this way, but I feel like this is unintended. There is also the way to get in front of him and block the way yourself with:

0:
Jump
Left
Cast (1)
Jump
Left
Jump
Right
Jump 2
Right
Jump

1:
Wait 5
Attack
Wait
Attack

Which uses multiple maybe unintenden strategies. Take a closer look at the execution of this one ;) it makes a double step on the second step of the Jump 2 instruction in 0.

I think it is possible to trap the dad is possible in more levels although I have not tested it. Also as I am writing a lot already here are 2 more thoughts:

1. All programs appart from 0 are saved between levels, which I think is weird.

2. I tried to solve 1 level by using one of the bots I programmed to programm my familiar. This would have been helpful for timing issues (the need to count how much I need to wait in my program would have been eliminated). This might be an interesting mechanic to add, although I am not sure, if it is too complicated for this game (not sure how much the levels will teach/ how hard they get).


All of these are rather small issues. I still hope they are helpful to you :)

Yes, indeed.  We've seen this one before and a fix is already in the next build (coming soon!).  Thank you so much!

(+1)

I'm not knowledgeable in much regarding computers, but after the file was downloaded I clicked to launch the .msi file and windows popped up warning that this could affect my computer's performance or just overall be a malicious. I realize windows warns against a lot of safe things, I'm sure this is one of them, I just wanted to double check and make sure that it's completely safe for me to download. 

(+1)

Usually I right-click it and ask Windows Update to scan it. If the scan comes back showing it's safe, I click Advanced > Run Anyway. Sorry wish I could help more! If it makes you feel any better, I ran it on my computer and nothing bad happened. Good on you for being cautious!

Windows automatically flags .msi files no matter where they are from. So, as long as you trust where you got it from and/or run a virus scan on the file, then it is perfectly safe to use. (This applies to any other .msi or .exe file you could encounter)

Codemancer is up for an award, and I'd really appreciate it if you could vote for us! https://t.co/W4GDQe9maf?amp=1. It only takes a few seconds. Thank you!

UPDATE: We Won!

(+1)

Just starting, so I can't comment on the game itself yet, but I find it jarring that, in the Itch Desktop App, the files are set up in such a way that "installing" the game apparently just downloads it, and you "launch" the installer, not the game itself. That would normally be an annoyance, but in a coding game, it feels a lot more wrong. Maybe someone needs to poke the install package?

Good point!  We decided to include an .msi installer instead of an executable because school IT administrators tend to prefer it.  Hope you like the game!

Ah, does the Itch desktop app not play nicely with msi? That's too bad.

I liked the game, especially the fact that you don't go straight for teaching literal coding so much as the concepts needed to be a good coder. I'm considerably out of your target demographic, but I pay attention to such games, as well as enjoying them as casual gaming. So, well done!

Thanks so much!

(+2)

Incredibly cute and I think a very fitting way to learn programming. The start is especially strong with clear directions that slowly build up the players understanding. First couple of chapters have a clear focus on what they're teaching the player but I towards the end it felt a bit scattershot. A bit like I just bruteforced solutions without really using what I've learned before.

But overall, I liked it! Would be interesting to hear how well its worked for kids without a programming background.

Some issues I noticed:
- Can't kill shadowself. Not sure if it's intended but killing the shadow just respawns it back again.
- Scripts in other tabs are keept from previous level. I never had the need to reuse scripts from a previous level.
- Some missing dialogue voice in the second half of the game.

(+4)

Cool game. I'm 17 and finished it in 3 hours (maybe more?) and:

I think the part where you use an "army" is much more difficult than the "shadowy one" mechanic. So i don't think the game actually escalates in difficulty. Wich, to me, it's not a big deal. 

Also, there's a lil 'bug': there's a level where a puppet needs to hit the lever so that 'dad' can go through. But I am able to entrance(?) the puppet so that he does nothing and i catch up to dad and hit im on the but with my face.

I'm no good in talking good about games, so if you want someone to tell you why this is good, go to the other comments

(+1)

Thanks so much for playing!  We're working on that bug :)

(+5)

Nice game, got it in the bundle and played it until a bit past the sea journey.  
I know some programming, so my basic experience was "Yes I *get* it, now can we ramp up the difficulty faster or skip a few levels?", but then again it's aimed at kids, not at me. 

I suspect you might need to spell out a few more things for kids, like "you don't lose if you bump into the edge, so a loop where you occasionally try to go too far (or attack thin air) is OK" and "You win as soon as you get to the goal, so it's OK if that happens in the middle of a loop". 

IMO, the pause after winning was a bit too long (on a mac); I suggest checking if the code is a win first, and if so, start loading stuff in advance while the code plays out. 

Maybe also add a "you win!" splash with a rudimentary grade of "Victory!" (got to the goal), "Fast!" (wrote the code in under five minutes), "Concise!" (few lines), "Precise!" (no unnecessary actions) and "first try!"(no need for debugging) . 

On the whole, nice game, nice graphical programming interface, good graphics & sound, might recommend it for parents of younger kids - but for teens and adults who want to know a bit about what programming is like, I'll still direct them to Kongregate's LightBot, and for gamers who want to do programming puzzles, I'll still recommend the Zachtronics games.

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The steam page says that it's available in German, French and Spanish as well, however I couldn't find a way to change languages in the Android version. I would love to play this game with my daughter, however, she doesn't speak English (yet)... Are the other languages available on Android?

Edit: Okay, I saw the update at the very top that says that the Mac & PC versions have the translations. So I'll update my question as well: Will they come to Android eventually?

(+2)

Yes, indeed.  The update is coming to mobile soon.

(+1)

That sounds great!! Really looking forward to playing it with her!
Thank you for being part of the bundle!

(+1)

This game is absolutely fantastic. I mean, I've been programming since childhood myself, so there was nothing new here in terms of learning for me. But the game is a delight anyway. The art and voice acting are excellent. This is exactly the kind of game I wish had been around when I was younger. I absolutely cannot wait until the next chapter.

Thanks so much!

Found a bug: When I leveled up to "Level 2" the animation showed me now having 4 hearts of health, but in the actual levels I still have only 3.

Thanks.  I'll check that out.

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Awesome game! I am both a programmer and an educator and recently found this when donating for the racial justice bundle. Your game is so far the best one I've found for childrens.

I'm so glad you like it!

(+2)

Any chance we could get a Linux version? I mean, after all, it’s a programming game, I imagine that’s a fair amount of your demographic here…

Sorry.  The engine we used doesn't target linux executables.

(1 edit)

Aww :( okay. Still a cool looking game, I wish I could play it!

(+3)

Works fine using Wine ! just use msiexec

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Been greatly enjoying the game so far, but I've run into a number of bugs. Two of the ones I've run into crop up quite often:

1. Voice lines don't always play properly, and sometimes clicking too early into a scene will screw up the sprite's positioning (as in, clicking to fast forward the text while the sprite is still moving around sometimes makes the sprite stop moving before it reaches the right place and be stuck halfway offscreen.)

2. Fast forward screws up the code. If you have more than two or three things on screen running your own code, the parser will skip steps entirely, meaning that sometimes you can't beat a level if you try to run it in fast forward. This is not consistent, it skips different steps every time, but the more stuff you have running (and the higher fast forward you're at) the worse it gets.

Also worth noting: the "dad capture chase" level in the forest? I broke it. You can cut off the helicopter thing's escape through clever use of the cast rune, I can provide details if you need.

Thanks so much.  I'd love to get details about the dad chase.  Please send me an email at bobbylox@importantlittlegames.com

(+1)

Hi there! Love the game! Is there any chance of either a Linux port, or just an upload of the straight windows version? Wine doesn't play well with msi installers unfortunately.

Thanks!

(1 edit)

Oh that's interesting.  The engine we used doesn't make Linux executables, but I can look into adding an .exe

Awesome, thanks :)

Have you tried msiexec in wine?

(+1)

i have not, but i certainly will now. thanks for pointing that out :3

this is a great little game - found it in the bundle and it's the first thing in there I decided to play! wish I'd had this when I was 12, it would have taught me a lot better than Basic. Very much looking forward to the next chapter. just wanted to report a couple bugs and offer a bit of feedback.

definitely a bug: I ran into some weird graphics issues on Windows 7, using an nVidia card updated with the brand new driver (I updated earlier tonight). it would occasionally lose or duplicate the star button where you activate commands, and I would have to go out of the level and back in to reset. I also had weird little glitchy graphical remnants show up in one case. 

might be a bug or maybe I just missed something: In one of the last few levels, where there's several trees in a vertical line that you have to get a puppet to kill for you, if you program the puppet to attack 4 times and then jump into the spot it just cleared, it sometimes fails to do so. telling it to jump twice reliably gets it to the next square. 

possibly intentional?: spells 1-5 don't reset to blanks at the beginning of a new level like spell 0 does.

also, I actually managed to beat the thing carrying my father in one of the last few levels (and then the game acted like he'd been dragged off ahead of me anyway).

feedback:

I think the age range cited is a little low for the difficulty/ramp up speed and complexity, especially with this just being chapter 1! It got challenging by the end for me, and I'm an Xennial who got Logo and a little Basic at around 10-12, and some Java in college. I'm not sure most 6 year olds even have the necessary level of cognitive development to handle running 4 'spells' at once.

I'd personally love a for-older-teens-to-adults version, that just adds a text window explaining how this stuff corresponds to real programming using Python. This is SO much better than having to try to learn from dry books, and getting to see both at once would really help bridge to the real thing.

(+1)

Same! Haven't played it yet but it was the first thing to catch my eye too!

After I download, Windows 10 says "Codemancer.msi was blocked because it could harm your device"

(+1)

One way that windows tries to tell dangerous programs apart from safe ones, is it automatically flags anything that hasn't been run by a large number of people as "dangerous".  This means that programs by large companies often skate through with no problems, while anything programmed by individuals or small companies get caught in the filter.   There should be a way to click through the warning and run it anyway, for situations where you're sure that it's overreacting.

Yeah, click the more info (its a text line that is underlined) bit, it leads to the button run anyway

(+1)

So I started to really enjoy the game, when I got to the level where a certain flying drone is flying to a certain blue flame, and I got stuck - I get next to it, but then I do not know what to do - attacking doesn't help, jumping on it doesn't work, and there's no hints to what to do there... and it looks practically impossible to get to the blue flame before the drone...

It is impossible.  Go ahead and allow yourself to fail.

Can't seem to fail either - after all the programmed steps are done, the stage just resets. Does the level supposed to end when the drone reaches the blue light? Because it doesn't; it just stands there forever.

yes.  This is a bug.  As a workaround while we try to fix it -- Can you back up a few levels (from the map)?  

I ran into the same issue in what I think is still the tutorial? When the drone captures a certain someone, I get to the blue flame and the level starts over.

(+1)

We ran into the same issue, and my son is frustrated. Will it work if you go back a couple levels and play through again?

It ought to, yes.

Help needed - I can't find how to open the game?
I downloaded the msi file and installed it, but can't find any way to open the actual game from the installer - what am I supposed to do to get into the actual game? Do I need another app or something?

If you're on Windows, double-clicking the .msi should open an installer.

got it - had to search in the toolbar too find the app, not just the installer

(+7)

Gameplay feedback-

I am Red-Green color defficient.  I've played about 10 mins so far, and I was wondering how much health the little bug guys had, cause I didn't see their health indicated anywhere.  So I looked a bit harder, and noticed that they DO have a health indicator, right below them!  I just couldn't see them easily because it's red on green.

It's a fun game so far, but it would be cool to have a colorblind alternate for important UI features, or just more clear contrast.

(+4)

Thanks so much!  I'll look into recoloring those.

(+4)

Another bug report for you.
This one is present on the Windows version and the Android version.

At this point we would expect to hear a "He's gone!" voice line, but instead we hear the "Teaching magic?" voice line again.

(+3)

Thanks so much!  I've been looking for that one!

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Loving the game and how it is presented!

I'm playing the Android version and I think I've run into a bug.

I'm at level 1 of the forest area

Completing this vertical level takes me on to this triangular level:

But completing the triangular level takes me back to the vertical level again.


Edit: Oh, my mistake. It's not the same level, just a very similar looking level. Didn't notice the difference on my little phone screen.

Whew...

(+1)

Been playing for 15 minutes, my brain hurts, I hope I can get a little smarter. Cool game, kudos to the creators.

(+1)

Thanks so much :)

(+5)

Nice artwork, great gameplay, now we can learn and play at the same time, a game for everybody especially the young ones.

(+4)(-1)

Thank you so much!