What are the best 2D game engines?

For the purpose of this question, a "2D game engine" is defined as a framework for managing game state and behavior, integrated with 2D-specific middleware (at minimum, a rendering engine). This is based on Wikipedia's definition of a game engine, specialized to 2D while taking note of the second paragraph:

A game engine is the software, i.e. some algorithms, solely responsible for the game mechanics and is strictly speaking not the rendering engine. Like e.g. the physics engine, the rendering engine is just middleware. The rendering engine is responsible for the rendering or rather 3D rendering and not for the game mechanics.

Among other things, qualifying engines do not require an integrated development environment, any sort of visual editing or compositing of game assets, or a physics engine. Likewise, a high-level tool which allows assembly of 2D games from assets fits even if it has no coding interface. This definition is intentionally broad and inclusive, to match the scope of the question itself: other questions can satisfy more specific needs, while this one serves as a comprehensive summary and introduction.

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Why do you recommend Construct 2?

Why do you not recommend Construct 2?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows | Languages: JavaScript | License: Proprietary | Distributed targets: HTML5 | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: Wii U

Constant updates

Developers provide regular updates (usually bi-weekly) with new features added with each iteration.

Powerful drag & drop editor

2
Using Construct 2 requires very little programming knowledge as it's all drag'n'drop, intuitive, visual and event-driven instead of code-...

Does not export to native mobile code

Construct 2 builds to HTML 5 only, which can cause performance issues on mobile devices.

Why do you recommend Unity?

Why do you not recommend Unity?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Mac | Languages: C#; UnityScript; Boo | License: Proprietary | Distributed targets: Unity Web Player; WebGL; Playstation Mobile | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: Windows Phone; iOS; Android; BlackBerry 10; Tizen | Console targets: Xbox 360; Xbox One; Wii U; PlayStation 3; PlayStation 4; PlayStation Vita

Cross-platform

Unity 3D supports 12 platforms in all, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, iOS, Android, and even consoles.

Great editor

The editor GUI is very powerful and intuitive. It allows pausing gameplay and manipulating the scene at any time as well as progress gameplay frame...

Performance could be better

Performance could be real issues with 2D games. Unity 3D is actually 3D game engine, and drags a lot of overhead with it. For mobile, one could never...

Why do you recommend Clickteam Fusion 2.5?

Why do you not recommend Clickteam Fusion 2.5?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows | Languages: C; C++ | License: Proprietary | Distributed targets: HTML5; Flash | Desktop targets: Windows | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: OUYA

Intuitive drag & drop interface & visual event editor

1
CF2.5 uses a straightforward drag & drop editor that allows for easy level, animation and event creation without having to write a single line of...

Supportive, passionate community

2
Any time you have a question or a problem, the community and the software developers are there to help you out either on forums or steam. The devs re...

Some features are really outdated and major updates are few and rare

1
There are some features that could make the software a lot more powerful but I feel like Clickteam does not have the staff resources to handle updati...

Why do you recommend libGDX?

Why do you not recommend libGDX?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: Java | License: Apache | Distributed targets: Java; WebGL | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android; BlackBerry | Console targets: none

Great performance

libGDX has been shown to outperform other popular frameworks across multiple platforms.

Active, helpful community

The official libGDX forum is a great resource for both technical help and design feedback. There's also an official #libgdx IRC channel on Freeno...

Documentation could be better

Other than a brief installation / getting started overview, libGDX's documentation consists of an official wiki with several incomplete pages, a...

Why do you recommend Monkey X?

Why do you not recommend Monkey X?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: Monkey X | License: zlib / Proprietary | Distributed targets: HTML5; Flash | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android; WP | Console targets: Xbox 360

Cross-platform

Write your code once for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, HTML5, Flash, Windows, OS X, Linux, and many more.Develop using W...

Great language

Monkey is an easy to learn language that's object-oriented, modular, statically typed, and garbage collected. Language features include classes,...

Minimalist documentation

1
The documentation contains a reasonably detailed language overview, and a somewhat-generated list of the included modules, classes, and methods. Modu...

Why do you recommend Cocos2D-X and Cocos2D Family?

Why do you not recommend Cocos2D-X and Cocos2D Family?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows | Languages: C++; Lua; JavaScript | License: MIT | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX | Mobile targets: none | Console targets: none

Cocos2D-X is free, royalty-free and open source

Under the MIT licence.

Cross Platform and Multi Language Options

1
Cocos2D-x Supported Platforms: iOS 5.0+ for iPhone / iPad games, Android 2.3+ for Android games, Windows Phone 8+ for WP games, OS X v10.6+ for Mac...

Poor documentation

1
Most existing documentation is out of date. API documentation sometimes exists, though is usually just a one-liner and more often than not is comple...

Why do you recommend GameMaker: Studio?

Why do you not recommend GameMaker: Studio?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows | Languages: GML | License: Proprietary | Distributed targets: HTML5 | Desktop targets: Windows; Macintosh; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android; Windows Phone 8; Tizen | Console targets: Xbox One; PS3; PS4; PS Vita

Easy to learn

GameMaker: Studio is incredibly easy to learn. It requires almost no programming knowledge which means those without the technical experience, such...

Cross-platform

HTML5, Linux, Windows, OS X, Windows Phone, Android, iOS, PS3/4/Vita.

Exporting to some formats costs extra

You need to buy extra modules to be able to export to platforms like Android, iOS, HTML5 and others.

Why do you recommend Starling?

Why do you not recommend Starling?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: ActionScript 3 | License: | Distributed targets: Flash; Adobe AIR | Desktop targets: none | Mobile targets: none | Console targets: none

Free and open source

Starling is available for free with code available on GitHub.

Strong community support

Forum is always active with knowledgeable developers and with lot of inside info, and post mortems.

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend LÖVE?

Why do you not recommend LÖVE?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: Lua | License: zlib / libpng | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: none | Console targets: none

Open source and free

The LÖVE engine is licensed under The zlib/libpng License (which is very short and human readable) which allows you to use the source code and even m...

Cross-platform

Supports Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

Mobile support is still experimental

While it is possible to export LÖVE games to Android and iOS, it is still experimental so there might be hidden bugs and flaws that need to be addres...

Why do you recommend Gideros?

Why do you not recommend Gideros?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX | Languages: Lua | License: MIT | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: none | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: none

Instant on device testing

Gideros provides a Gideros player, using which you will be able to instantly with single click try out your latest code on your device from your comp...

Friendly & helpful community

Gideros has active forums where you can find friendly and helpful advice.

IDE can be flaky

Why do you recommend Godot?

Why do you not recommend Godot?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: C++;GDScript | License: MIT | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS | Console targets: PlayStation 3; PlayStation 4

Cross-platform

Win/Mac/Linux/Android/iOS/BB10/HTML5

Free and open source

Godot is licensed under MIT license. Anyone can grab the source from github.com/okamstudio/godot, and compile the engine him/herself.

Self-designed scripting language

4
Implementing new scripting language instead of using an existing scripting engine (such as Lua or V8 JS) looks expensive, but easy to learn.

Why do you recommend Stencyl?

Why do you not recommend Stencyl?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Macintosh; Linux | Languages: Haxe | License: Proprietary | Distributed targets: Flash | Desktop targets: Windows; Macintosh; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: none

Cross-Platform

Publish iOS, Android, Flash, Windows and Mac games without code.

No coding required, great drag & drop interface

Visual scripting in Stencyl is based on the MIT Scratch project, which was designed to teach programming. Script elements fit together like puzzle pi...

Only available via subscription

There should be an option to buy it outright, especially considering it is written by a one man team....this is not exactly an Adobe level enterprise...

Why do you recommend Torque 2D MIT?

Why do you not recommend Torque 2D MIT?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX | Languages: C++; | License: MIT | Distributed targets: WebGL | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: none

Cross platform

Torque 2D runs on Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, and Web.

You get the sourcecode

For the more experience programmer, you have access to the source code. While this removes any and all barriers to extensibility, programmers with kn...

The Torsion editor is essential for runtime debugging

Currently, the most popular tool for debugging TorqueScript is Torsion. In order to break into script code, watch values, and step through code, you...

Why do you recommend HaxeFlixel?

Why do you not recommend HaxeFlixel?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: MIT | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Fully free

Powerful language

Haxe is a powerful, cross-platform and open source language.

Small community

HaxeFlixel devs are not as large as (example) Unity devs, so the amount of support and exposure is limited.

Why do you recommend App Game Kit?

Why do you not recommend App Game Kit?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: C++; Basic; AGK Script | License: Proprietary | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: none

Allows source to be compiled for Windows, OSX, iOS, Android and Blackberry

AGK allows you to write code that can be deployed to multiple platforms. This makes writing software for different markets very easy, as adapting the...

Available for Basic, C++ and Pascal

Apart from its own Basic language, power-developers can add all the facilities of major compilers and languages.

Few skilled developers and lots of bugs with very high turn-around on fixes

1
There are very few developers, even fewer who are working on AGK and not out marketing it as a working product, then out of those, few who seem to be...

Why do you recommend Flixel?

Why do you not recommend Flixel?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: ActionScript 3 | License: MIT | Distributed targets: Flash | Desktop targets: none | Mobile targets: none | Console targets: none

Basic features provide a solid foundation

Display thousands of moving objectsBasic collisions between objectsGroup objects together for simplicityEasily generate and emit particlesCreate game...

Record and play back replays

Replays are essentially a list of what keyboard keys were pressed, and what mouse inputs were given, during a specific time frame. Because Flixel is...

Development has stopped

:(

Why do you recommend HaxePunk?

Why do you not recommend HaxePunk?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: Haxe | License: MIT | Distributed targets: Flash | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: none

Joystick and multi-touch support

Useful for mobile games and soon consoles (OpenFL has a console port in the works).

Crossplatform testing/releasing

HaxePunk uses OpenFL which means you can compile to just about every device. A lot of the rendering code has been optimized so if you use HaxePunk’s...

Small comunity

It’s a small but growing community.

Why do you recommend GDevelop?

Why do you not recommend GDevelop?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Ubuntu Linux | Languages: C++; JavaScript | License: LGPL/MIT | Distributed targets: HTML5 | Desktop targets: Windows; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: none

Free and open-source

GDevelop's runtime libraries are MIT licensed. It can be used freely for projects of any type and there are no royalties associated with publishi...

Easy to use

The whole interface is intuitive and easy to learn: each part of the game can be designed using visual editors. The objects editor is used to create...

For mobile development, Intel XDK is required

2
You can publish to iOS or Android only by exporting your game as HTML5 project and then using Intel XDK.

Why do you recommend V-Play?

Why do you not recommend V-Play?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: C++; JavaScript | License: Proprietary | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android; Symbian | Console targets: none

Easy to learn

V-Play is among the easiest cross-platform tools to use according to a survey done by research2guidance.

In-game level editor

With the Level Editor components, you can let your players share their levels with the whole game community which is cool because you don't need...

No 3rd party tutorials

There are little to none amount of tutorials for V-Play other than what was made by V-Play themselves.

Why do you recommend Moai SDK?

Why do you not recommend Moai SDK?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: C++; Lua | License: CPAL | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Fast

Because it uses Lua + C++.

Easy-to-use particle engine

Uses a limited subset of Lua

Not for beginning developers

The Moai SDK has very advanced features which allow it to create powerful games. A drawback from this is that it is not very suitable for beginners.

Why do you recommend pygame?

Why do you not recommend pygame?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: LGPL | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Easy Python Syntax

Good for beginners

1

Messy documentation

The docs are messy, and some basic functions are infuriating to work out. There's even some places in the documentation where it's clearly wr...

Why do you recommend Phaser.io?

Why do you not recommend Phaser.io?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: MIT | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Support for Arcade Physics, Ninja Physics and p2.js

Easy to learn

Poor performances

As long as your map is not larger than 600*400px, everything is fine.

Why do you recommend Allegro?

Why do you not recommend Allegro?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: zlib | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Per-platform library optimization

Allegro uses DirectX for Windows, and OpenGL for other targets.

Good documentation and lots of tutorials

Since it has been in development since mid-90s with hundreds of people contributing to both the engine and documentation, it has all of its bases cov...

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Wave?

Why do you not recommend Wave?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX; Linux | Languages: C#; VB; F# | License: | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: none

Oculus Rift support 

The Wave Engine team provides an official, open-source Oculus Rift extension via GitHub.

Many components are open source 

Several core components and official extensions of the Wave Engine are publicly hosted on GitHub.

Need Xamarin for iOS and Android Building

For iOs and Android Building, you need to use Xamarin for compiling. Xamarin's price is not cheap, and not supported Blackberry, Tizen...

Why do you recommend Corona SDK?

Why do you not recommend Corona SDK?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Very simple to use

Short LUA syntax

Online compilation

3
To build your app with Corona you have to send it to them online to compile. Your source code never leaves your hard drive, it's some bitcode th...

Why do you recommend MonoGame?

Why do you not recommend MonoGame?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Cross-platform

Support for iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows (both OpenGL and DirectX), Windows 8 Store, Windows Phone 8, PlayStation Mobile, and the OUYA cons...

Open source

All the code is available to you ensuring you'll have the ability to make changes when you need to or even port to whole new platforms.

MonoGame only "free of charge" on windows

MonoGame licensing is completely separate from Xamarin licensing. MonoGame itself is completely free to use. In order to use MonoGame for non-Microso...

Why do you recommend Loom SDK?

Why do you not recommend Loom SDK?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Live reload of code and assets across multiple platforms

Loom can live update changes in realtime, allowing you to see them on multiple devices immediately.

Powerful command line workflow

Loom Turbo ($5/mo) gives access to powerful command line tools. For example, "loom new" to make a new project, "loom run" to run...

Documentation is lacking

Why do you recommend Duality?

Why do you not recommend Duality?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: C# | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: Windows | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Great editor

Duality includes a powerful visual editing system that can be used for previewing, integrating, editing and testing game content.

Open source

The full source code is available on GitHub, where the framework is actively developed. All of the editor, core and plugin code is written in C#.

Requires windows for development

Why do you recommend RPG Maker?

Why do you not recommend RPG Maker?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Easy to jump into using an intuitive WYSIWYG editor

It's possible to create a game with absolutely no art or coding skills, so even complete beginners can make something.

Large and active community

The engine has seen multiple iterations since 1995, so a large online community exists that is always willing to help each other out.

Engine imposes arbitrary limits

Engine imposes arbitrary limits. For example, it only supports resolution up 640x480.

Why do you recommend GLBasic?

Why do you not recommend GLBasic?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: Basic | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: Windows; Linux | Mobile targets: | Console targets: Xbox

Easy to develop with

Language is easy to use, with a fast compiler

Multiple platforms

Code can be written once and will work on supported platforms with very little modifcation

Compiler has issues

Exporting to other platforms will most likely fail without heavy configuration. The devs say that's is only possible to test on an actual iOS dev...

Why do you recommend BlitzMax?

Why do you not recommend BlitzMax?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

GUI for apps

BlitzMax provides the MaxGUI modules that allow to build GUI desktop applications for Windows, Mac and Linux (FLTK or GTK via a module). You also cou...

Stable language and source code

After many years the language it self is very stable. The packages contains the source code of ALL modules (excluding the source of the compiler).

Costs money

Why do you recommend Polycode?

Why do you not recommend Polycode?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

MIT license

Source code is available on Github.

Can create portable native applications

Polycode uses Lua and C++ to create native applications for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Mobile platforms are planned for the future.

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Orx?

Why do you not recommend Orx?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Automatic hot-loading of resources

Automatic hot-loading of resources upon modification on disk, shortens drastically iteration times.

High Performance

Written in C with high emphasis on memory and CPU efficiency.

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Adventure Game Studio?

Why do you not recommend Adventure Game Studio?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows | Languages: AGS Script | License: Artistic License 2.0 | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; Linux | Mobile targets: Android; iOS | Console targets: PSP

Friendly community

An old, big and active community which would support newcomers not only in learning basics of the engine, but can help with every aspect of game maki...

Used for a number of high-profile commercial releases

Adventure Game Studio has been used to develop games such as "Resonance", "Blackwell" series, "Gemini Rue", "Primo...

Graphics renderer is a bit dated

Graphics renderer is not well optimized for high-resolution games and complex effects.

Why do you recommend SFML?

Why do you not recommend SFML?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Great Documentation

SFML is very well documented, even with short examples of use for many functions and modules. Furthermore, there are books like 'SFML essentials&...

Modern C++11 implementation

SFML is one of the few good C++ frameworks out there to actually make full use of the language. It's extremely well optimized and it plays well w...

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend FlashPunk?

Why do you not recommend FlashPunk?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Built-in debugging

Simple keyboard and mouse input state checking

Development seems to have stopped

6
No meaningful updates have been made for over a year.

Why do you recommend CRM32Pro SDK?

Why do you not recommend CRM32Pro SDK?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Great tools included

EditorDPF: resource editor for managing images, tiles, sprites, sounds, etc. of your game MSTE: tile-based parallax scrolling engine with support to...

Cross-platform

CRM32Pro works on Windows, Linux and MacOS X.

Not as beginner friendly

C/C++ skills and general knowledge of SDL and basic game programming is required in order to get all the benefits.

Why do you recommend Engine 001 Game Maker?

Why do you not recommend Engine 001 Game Maker?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Easy to use

Engine 001 allows you to get to making games quicker since you aren't putting allot of time into figuring out complicated interfaces.

Light weight

An amazing minimal download size at around 100mb.

Windows only

The editor is Windows only, no OSX or Linux versions are planned.

Why do you recommend ENIGMA Development Environment?

Why do you not recommend ENIGMA Development Environment?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Raw C++ power and GML accessibility

Almost full support for GML, The ability to create and access C++ types, templates, and functions, compile DLLs and other C/C++ scripts

Compatible with GameMaker

Enigma can support over 90% of gamemaker's GML language

No code refactoring

Like any C++ based programs, the ability to refactor is limited. However, the new Ide for engima will support a few refactoring cababilities

Why do you recommend GameSalad?

Why do you not recommend GameSalad?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Macintosh | Languages: none | License: | Distributed targets: HTML5 | Desktop targets: Windows 8; Macintosh | Mobile targets: iOS; Android; Tizen | Console targets: none

No-code editor

Cross-Platform

Bad Editor

There is: no search boxes no scene zoom no snap to grid no ability to focus view on the actor no ability to use folders for file structure

Why do you recommend ImpactJS?

Why do you not recommend ImpactJS?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Excellent collision detection system 

Impact provides 2 types of collision detection; static and dynamic collisions. Both of which are easily integrated into game development.

Extensive documentation available to support development 

ImpactJS has an active user community that busily produces tremendous resources including videos, books, tutorials, walkthroughs and more. There are...

Cost of $99 

While most HTML5 frameworks are offered as free open source projects, ImpactJS has a one time cost and no free option.

Why do you recommend Overlap 2D?

Why do you not recommend Overlap 2D?

Free and open source

Overlap 2D can be freely downloaded with source code available on GitHub.

Engine and language agnostic

Can be used with any engine or programming language.

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Unreal Engine 4 ?

Why do you not recommend Unreal Engine 4 ?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Macintosh | Languages: C++ | License: | Distributed targets: HTML5 | Desktop targets: Windows; Macintosh; Linux | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets: Xbox One; PS4

Versatile flow diagram script model 

UE4's Blueprint scripts resemble flowcharts where each box represents a function or value, with connections between them representing program flo...

Freely availably 

As of recently, UE 4 is totally free. The only thing that remains is 5% royalties.

5% royalties 

The license for UE4 requires that Epic Games be paid 5% of sales revenue from any game published. (The first $3,000 per quarter is exempt.)

Why do you recommend Genome2D?

Why do you not recommend Genome2D?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Lightning fast

It's the fastest gpu-based framework out there for flash. It's beautifully optimised. It has very low rendering latency, low level OpenGL cal...

Haxe!

Haxe is a strictly typed programming language that saves development time but still compiles high performance executables, and can build for tons of...

Lacks documentation

The API documentation is minimal, there's not many tutorials and the ones that are there are very small and only cover the basics. If you want to...

Why do you recommend Ethanon Engine?

Why do you not recommend Ethanon Engine?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Particle Engine

Lighting Engine

Small Community

Why do you recommend Gosu?

Why do you not recommend Gosu?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Mature API, actively maintained and developed

Gosu has been under development since 2001. It is mature and has several toolkits built on top of it to provide additional functionality.

Lightweight

Gosu is not a game development framework, only a media library that happens to be suited to game development. (Kind of like SDL in the C world.) That...

Deploying Ruby apps is a mess

Games built with the Ruby to .exe "compiler" do nothing more than extract your source code and Ruby.exe to %TEMP%, then run it. The code is...

Why do you recommend BYOND?

Why do you not recommend BYOND?

Make & Play Online Multiplayer Games

Helpful community

BYOND's community is relatively large and extremely helpful. Any question a beginner or an experienced user may have is quickly answered.

Easy to use

The software itself is very easy to learn and use for beginners.

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend PlayMaker + Unity3D?

Why do you not recommend PlayMaker + Unity3D?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Macintosh | Languages: C#; UnityScript; Boo | License: | Distributed targets: Unity Web Player; Playstation Mobile | Desktop targets: Windows; Macintosh | Mobile targets: iOS; Android; Windows Phone 8; Blackberry | Console targets: Xbox 360; Xbox One; PS3; PS4; PS Vita

Easy to use 

You'll need to put more time in learning Unity + Playmaker compared to something like GameSalad. But once get hang of it and familiarize yourself...

Powerful  

It basically can do same things as scripting in Unity.

Limited tutorials 

There are not a lot videos with Playmaker tutorials. Official text tutorials are also quite limited. Even not every action has a description on an of...

Why do you recommend Microsoft XNA Game Studio?

Why do you not recommend Microsoft XNA Game Studio?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Easy assets

it is very easy to import your own 2 dimensional assets

Very easy to use

relies largely on drag and drop elements and has been used to create notable high quality 2d games such as DLC Quest

It's dead

It is not getting updated and Microsoft does not recommend using it anymore.

Why do you recommend FlatRedBall?

Why do you not recommend FlatRedBall?

Cross-platofrm 2D game engine using C#, focused on developer productivity, transparency, scalability, and ease of use.

Great community

Very easy to use

1

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Twine?

Why do you not recommend Twine?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Web; Windows; Macintosh | Languages: JavaScript | License: | Distributed targets: HTML | Desktop targets: none | Mobile targets: none | Console targets: none

Free for commercial projects 

Twine is based on a GPL licence. You are free to download, modify and publish derivatives - even commercially.

Easy to understand 

The basics are very easy to grasp, and you can have a basic story up in minutes.

Limited to interactive fiction 

Twine is specialized to decision-based interactive fiction. Under the hood, a Twine game is just a flowchart for page transitions; the only way to a...

Why do you recommend GDevApp?

Why do you not recommend GDevApp?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Web | Languages: none | License: | Distributed targets: HTML5 | Desktop targets: none | Mobile targets: Android (planned) | Console targets: none

Quickly add behaviors to objects 

Prebuilt behaviors can be added to objects. This is a very efficient way to add a physics engine or make a platformer game. Lots of behaviors are inc...

Can export your game as HTML5 and for Android 

Games can be packaged for Android without relying on any third party tool. You can also export your game and download it to host it on your server or...

Depends on a hosting service 

If the website goes down or closes down, You'll no longer be able to develop your games using this system.

Why do you recommend Leadwerks Game Engine?

Why do you not recommend Leadwerks Game Engine?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Linux | Languages: C++; Lua | License: | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; Linux | Mobile targets: none | Console targets: none

Versatile flow diagram script model 

Leadwerks's flowgraphs resemble flowcharts where each box represents a function or value, with connections between them representing program flo...

Documentation and support are limited for non-coders 

The flowgraph editor can be used with free script assets to build games without writing any code, but this is not directly intended or encouraged by...

Why do you recommend uScript + Unity3D?

Why do you not recommend uScript + Unity3D?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; Mac | Languages: C#; UnityScript; Boo | License: | Distributed targets: Unity Web Player; Playstation Mobile | Desktop targets: Windows; Macintosh | Mobile targets: iOS; Android; Windows Phone 8; Blackberry | Console targets: Xbox 360; Xbox One; PS3; PS4; PS Vita

Automatically generates nodes for third-party script assets 

uScript's nodes are a visual representation of actual code blocks, and it takes advantage of C#'s reflection capabilities to automatically cr...

Generates C# source code 

Nodes are translated directly to C# files in your project. This is great for learning to code, and also for advanced users who can use uScript for fa...

Not that easy to use 

It's a lot more complicated compared to something like Playmaker. Same tasks take a lot more time.

Why do you recommend Panda JS?

Why do you not recommend Panda JS?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

No pros added yet

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Oxygine 2D C++ Game Framework?

Why do you not recommend Oxygine 2D C++ Game Framework?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Free, open source and cross-platform

Oxygine is a free framework that works on OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, HTML5. It's licensed under MIT with source code available on BitBuc...

Build as HTML5 application

2
Most interesting is ability to build C++ Oxygine application for Web via Emscripten. So you write C++ code and it will compile it to HTML5/JS.

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend GameStylus?

Why do you not recommend GameStylus?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

On-line editor

No need to install anything, just log-in and create your game; then export all the data and the game can be played in a native GameStylus app

Visual editing

The GameStylus system is easy to use, editing is visual, there are articles and video-tutorials helping to develop your game

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend No Nonsense?

Why do you not recommend No Nonsense?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Multiple languages support

Supports writing games in both Lua and JavaScript and for advanced users it´s plugin system also supports Java.

Cross-platform

Supports all major platforms - Windows - Mac - Linux - Android - iOS

In early development

Do not have as much features as other listed engines.

Why do you recommend Gingee?

Why do you not recommend Gingee?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

True cross platfrom dev with single code base

Liquid UI™ technology is a one-code-fit-all technology. Your game and application will work and look seamlessly on all devices, even ones that are n...

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend WiMi5?

Why do you not recommend WiMi5?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Web | Languages: JavaScript | License: | Distributed targets: HTML5 | Desktop targets: none | Mobile targets: none | Console targets: none

Versatile flow diagram script model 

WiMi5 integrates a powerful visual scripting solution based on Blackboxes that allows you to create the logic flow of the game. You don't have to...

Publication partnerships 

WiMi5 maintains partnerships allowing simultaneous publication to a number of Web and mobile stores, all managed through the WiMi5 platform.Games can...

30% royalties 

For filling the engine, publisher, and back-end service roles, WiMi5 takes 30% of game revenues.

Why do you recommend Construct Classic?

Why do you not recommend Construct Classic?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

easy to use

very intuitive

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Rainbow?

Why do you not recommend Rainbow?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Open source

Distributed under the MIT License.

Cross-platform

With support for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

Small community

Being fairly new on the scene, there aren't much of a community to speak of.

Why do you recommend Crafty?

Why do you not recommend Crafty?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Eventbinding

Javascript

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Rapid 2D?

Why do you not recommend Rapid 2D?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Collaborative

Allows multiple developers to work on the same project.

Capable of generating a whole Visual Studio project

It’s capable of generating a whole Visual Studio project, with classes for any objects required, thereby speeding up the development time.

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Angel2D?

Why do you not recommend Angel2D?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Low-level code is easily accessible

Low-level code that Angel wraps is always just an easy click away, ready to be overridden or improved.

Focused on providing convenient features

Angel was created with game jams in mind, so it's focused on providing as many convenient features as possible, but in a quickly understandable w...

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend UDK?

Why do you not recommend UDK?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows | Languages: C++; C#; UnrealScript; Cg | License: | Distributed targets: none | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX | Mobile targets: iOS | Console targets: none

Large toolset 

UDK has an extremely large toolset that allows creating almost anything without having to use a 3rd party tool or plugin.

Triple A track record 

UDK is an engine used by many big name companies for popular games such as the Gears of War series.

Superseded by Unreal Engine 4 

Why do you recommend KiriKiri?

Why do you not recommend KiriKiri?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

No pros added yet

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend NScripter?

Why do you not recommend NScripter?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

No pros added yet

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Ren'Py?

Why do you not recommend Ren'Py?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Cross-platform

Available on Windows, Linux, OSX, iOS and Android

Easy to create visual novels with

Not for every genre

While technically capable of creating 2D games in any genre, Ren'Py excels in creating visual novels and has a reasonable feature set for creati...

Why do you recommend Flambe?

Why do you not recommend Flambe?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Great performance on HTML and Flash/AIR

Easy to get good performance on all targets.

Cross-platform

Firefox, Html, Flash, Android(Air+Ane), iOS (Air+Ane)

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Construct 3?

Why do you not recommend Construct 3?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

No pros added yet

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend The Doryen Library (libtcod)?

Why do you not recommend The Doryen Library (libtcod)?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

No pros added yet

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend ALGE SDK?

Why do you not recommend ALGE SDK?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Cross-platform

Develop in Visual Studio

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Codea?

Why do you not recommend Codea?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Ships with music and sound packs

Codea ships with three great music and sound packs, composed just for Codea and free for you to use in whatever you create.

You can code on an iPad and easily distribute the game

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Turbulenz?

Why do you not recommend Turbulenz?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Networking, Multiplayer and Social Networking built in

Extensive audio support

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Marmalade SDK?

Why do you not recommend Marmalade SDK?

Compare all specsDev platforms: Windows; OSX | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: Windows; OSX | Mobile targets: iOS | Console targets:

C++ programming language

No cons added yet

Why do you recommend Buildbox?

Why do you not recommend Buildbox?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: | Mobile targets: | Console targets:

Drag - and - drop editor

Drag - and - drop editor without writing any line of code.

Very expensive

Buildbox has a 15-day trial version, after that a $2675 license to use it must be bought.

Why do you recommend Paradox 3D?

Why do you not recommend Paradox 3D?

Compare all specsDev platforms: | Languages: | License: | Distributed targets: | Desktop targets: Windows | Mobile targets: iOS; Android | Console targets:

Straightforward editor 

Paradox provides a simple and clean working environment for designing games.

Good looking and fast 

Looking nearly as good as Unreal Engine 4, but rendering significantly faster.

Requires a Xamarin license for mobile development

$25/month for each platform.

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