Game engines are frameworks for creating video games.
It should be noted that game engines for beginners generally trade off flexibility for ease of use, meaning that while it's possible to create games with game engines for non-programmers they may be considerably more limited in available functionality and customizability than full-fledged game engines.
A good beginner-friendly game engine won't overwhelm with options at first occurrence, it will have an easy to use interface, and a straightforward way of creating logic. Additionally, it's important for a game engine to have lots of learning resources (lots of examples, tutorials and good documentation) and an active community that can help out when stuck.
|28 Recommended Products||Recommendations||Dev platforms||Desktop targets||Mobile targets|
|#1 AppGameKit· · ·||23 | 5||Windows, Mac, Linux||Windows, Mac, Linux||iOS, Android|
|#2 Construct 2· · ·||36 | 8||Windows||Windows; Macintosh; Linux||iOS; Android|
|#3 GameMaker: Studio· · ·||30 | 6||Windows||Windows, Macintoish||iOS, Android|
|#4 GDevApp· · ·||15 | 2||Web||none||Android (planned)|
|#5 GameGuru· · ·||79 | 30||Windows||Windows||none|
|#6 PlayMaker + Unity3D· · ·||17 | 3||Windows; Macintosh||Windows; Macintosh||iOS; Android; Windows Phone 8; Blackberry|