When comparing Moai SDK vs Angel2D, the Slant community recommends Moai SDK for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Moai SDK is ranked 21st while Angel2D is ranked 81st. The most important reason people chose Moai SDK is:
Because it uses Lua + C++.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Because it uses Lua + C++.
Pro Gives you total control
You can use your own custom shaders and extend the language with C++. MOAI doesn't give you everything, instead it gives you the tools you need to develop any game you want.
Pro Full source code is available
So it is extendable with C++
Pro Easy-to-use particle engine
Uses a limited subset of Lua
Pro Uses Lua, with LuaJIT where possible
Pro Is used by many pro developers
Moai SDK is used by popular developers including Double Fine for their mobile game, Middle Manager of Justice, and for their Kickstarter hit, Broken Age(formerly, Double Fine Adventure.) It was also used to create the popular mobile game Bubble Ball 2.
This proves that this engine can be used to make fully-featured and fun games.
Pro API interfaces
Has options for development like Hanappe and Rapanui, providing a different way to interact with the engine.
Pro Helpful community
The Moai SDK Forum is active and users will go to great extents to answer queries, post code snippets, beta test, and even purchase and give feedback on each others' games.
Pro Helpful and detailed documentation
Although the Moai SDK is very advanced and uses complicated features, the documentation wiki thoroughly and clearly explains how to use these features, such as the Moai Cloud(a service that provides web services for your game), and multiple ways to build from source.
Pro Great for prototyping
The framework is focused on prototyping. It has plenty of features to speed up development. It has a console with a lua interpreter, tuning variables and function calls. GWEN is well supported. Provides a simple interface for Box2D. A simple messaging system with which entities can subscribe to to receive messsages among other things.
Pro Permissive licence and easy to extend
Angel2D is built with the idea that you the game developer should have control over the framework and be able to add features if you like. So the code is BSD-licenced and very easy to extend for anyone that has completed a basic C++ course or equivalent.
Pro Great performance
While Angel2D isn't the best performing framework out there it's certainly no slog when compared to competition. Simply by the virtue of being native it puts itself ahead of engines like Gamemaker and frameworks like Love2D.
Pro Simple interface to lua scripting
If you're not comfortable with a basic subset of C++ it is not recommended to use this framework. But the Lua scripting platform is very nice for generating actors.
Pro Very helpful and simple project set up for newcomers
Often with game engines they throw you into unfamiliar territory and let you explore for yourself. While this wouldn't be a big issue with Angel2D due to it being a very simple framework it kickstarts your game prototyping.
Pro 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 way.
Pro Cross platform
Angel can create games for Windows, the Mac, most flavors of Linux, and iOS. It uses the native build systems on each platform (Visual Studio, Xcode, Make), so you can be up and running as soon as possible.
Pro 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.
Pro Very light wrapping on all of the libraries
A very important point that's often underestimated. This framework is designed to be removed. It's not there to provide a complete engine for you which you will have trouble moving away from. The basic interface to Box2D is very spartan. You're given the simplest of Box2D shapes, not even polygonal fixtures. This limitation (seems to be) there so that the integration with the engine is very low. You never create a physics actor with anything more complicated than an enum describing if it's supposed to be a sphere shape or box shape.
Con 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.
Con Not necessarily tested or stable
Con Scarce documentation
Since it is a minimalist framework there is not that much documentation, but if you are used to reading API references and source code you are good to go!
Con Development has ceased
The last update was over a year ago. Users should not expect things to still work on future OS versions unless they're ready to fix them yourself.
Con No asset pipeline
Unlike XNA/Monogame, Gamemaker or many other similar platforms, Angel2D doesn't have an asset pipeline. The extents of the asset importing is manually loading individual files in code or naming them according to a convention to load a set of them.
Con No longer supported
Hasn't been updated in 2 years.
Con Incomplete documentation
The entire framework is technically documented at http://docs.angel2d.com/ but certain functionality isn't described in there but rather it's just a list of functions. They all have descriptive names and it should be common to run into a feature which isn't given example to in the "Introgame"-project example.
Con Abandoned by developers
Sadly this project has been abandoned by the developer. The main github doesn't see any pull requests fulfilled anymore. There's a debugline draw fix on the github that's rather simple to fix. It is recommended you pull that fork rather than the master branch. Though the simplicity of the framework still makes it a good choice for prototyping.