Second RE: GameMaker Studio. It's super newcomer friendly. I started using it more seriously about 2 years ago, just fiddling with drag and drop. Now I do a mix of proper code and dnd (when I'm feeling lazy or just tinkering), and I find I can prototype things SUPER fast with it.
I'm using it for my entry. You can get the free version which has basically all the stuff you need, except export to fancier consoles/platforms.