When comparing Moai SDK vs Loom SDK, 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 Loom SDK is ranked 38th. 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 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.
Pro 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 it. Packaging, deploy, and live reload are done automatically for you.
Pro Open source
The Loom runtime and LoomScript compiler are open source, with code available on GitHub, allowing you to have the freedom to fix the bugs and add the features your game needs.
Loom includes over 30 examples ranging from complete sample games to demos of single features.
Pro Familiar and powerful scripting
Pro Good support
Loom devs are helpful.
Loom can deploy to Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android (including Nook, Kindle Fire and Ouya). There are also custom port available for WP8, Blackberry and consoles.
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 Documentation is lacking
Con No visual tools support
There's no level editor, asset viewer or any other visual tools in Loom SDK. Everything has to go through command line. I think it's fine if you really like typing.