When comparing Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family vs Corona SDK, the Slant community recommends Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is ranked 4th while Corona SDK is ranked 26th. The most important reason people chose Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is:
25% of iPhone games are made using Cocos2d-x (A Cocos2d mobile variant.) This means you will not be alone in development, and will have access to a large community. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro A proven engine for mobile development
25% of iPhone games are made using Cocos2d-x (A Cocos2d mobile variant.)
This means you will not be alone in development, and will have access to a large community. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Pro Supports 3D models with skeleton animation
A new feature since Cocos2d-x v3.1 is support for 3D models (in your 2D game), not only this but support for skeleton animations is included too! This awesome feature allows for impressive characters in your game along with easier, more fluid and realistic animations.
Pro Great script language support
Especially with Cocos2d-JS you can develop games cross web and native, and the native solution have great performance with JS Bindings, much better than hybrid solution.
Cocos2d-x is not only open source but also supported by Chukong Technologies of China and USA.
Regularly updated and adding support for the latest technologies. 2014 has already seen the release of Version 3, a new Cocos Studio development toolkit (optional) and support for new technologies like skeleton animation systems Spine and Adobe DragonBone.
Pro Allows for easy debugging
It has a built-in Python interpreter that allows for easy debugging.
Pro Great video tutorials
Hundreds of video tutorials available.
Pro Greater performance than high level APIs
Cocos2d-x is C++ based engine and it has CPU advantages for most platforms because of that. It uses polygonal mesh methods for sprite rendering for using GPU advantages. (You also use quad methods for benefit CPU).
Pro OpenGL hardware acceleration
Pro Easy integration of 3rd party plugins
For example, if you want to add a rating plugin, you use
sdkbox::PluginReview::init(); and if you want to add the Vundle Ad Network SDK, you use the one packaged in SDKBox
Pro Highly active community for questions and support
Cocos2d-x forums are active.
Pro No external dependencies
Because it is based on Pyglet.
Pro Very simple to use
Corona SDK is completely free as of March 2, 2015. That includes pro-tier plugins.
Pro Lua syntax
Uses the great and easy-to-learn Lua programming language.
Pro Amazing learning curve
Corona does not throw photoshop-like madness full of buttons editor. You can go as fast as you want, learning and building game from ground up. Eventually, you'll learn how much corona is doing for you. But to start you don't have to master complex editor software. It's a great tool to learn to start game development if you want to learn how to program and make games. Your experience will be 100% transferable to any other Pro game engine.
Pro Corona Simulator
Corona SDK ships with Corona Simulator, which runs your game/app directly on your PC/Mac and updates every time you make changes.
It provides immediate feedback to your actions, you can see your changes right on the screen, without necessity to make build to device. Getting instant feedback really boosts tenfold prototyping and development speed.
Pro Good documentation and lots of tutorials
Pro Cross-platform desktop and mobile
Corona works on OS X, Windows and Android (including Kindle Fire & Nook).
Pro Great community
Pro Ability to call any native (C/C++/Obj-C/Java) library
Pro Very comprehensive API
It's very quick to get things up and running with Corona SDK. The API is extensive and while it's not 100% feature-complete with the iOS API, it's close enough that you could create tons of games and never run into a roadblock.
The API docs can be found here.
Pro Content scaling
It's easy to create a game that looks good on many different sized mobile devices.
Pro Live builds - update builds running on a device automatically
With the live build feature, once you have created a build and installed on a device, you get lightning fast turnaround times because any change on the code or data is updated to the devices running the game (within the local WiFi) immediately. So changes can be tested on the real hardware within a very few seconds.
What's even more impressive, this even works flawless with multiple devices running the game. You have to use it to learn how good of a feature this is while development and even more, while doing QA. Imagine fixing bugs and everyone of your QA team/friends/whoever helps to get your game done, has all changes on his device without doing anything but waiting 5 seconds - outstanding.
Pro Well supported
Con Poor documentation
Most existing documentation is out of date. API documentation sometimes exists, though is usually just a one-liner and more often than not is completely absent. New features and significant system rewrites often make it to a major release without a single line of documentation accompanying them. Cocos2d-x family is developed by Chinese mostly, so market outside of China is not their main priority. Some tools (like Cocos Studio) have China-specific services and markets.
Con Cocos2d-html5 is way behind Cocos2d-x
While Cocos2d-html5 tries to mimic it's Cocos2d-x sister and has the same people working on it, it has lots of restrictions compared to Cocos2d-x: no Spine mesh support, no 3D models, bad text label quality, etc.
Con Poor support and non-existent community
Up until 2013, this was one of the best engines around. However, since then it was bought by a Chinese company and began stagnating - it's virtually in a slow death. Most developers abandoned Cocos in favor of more modern solutions leaving the community weak and the forums with little or no traffic. Although the Cocos2d-x Forum seems to have a decent community going.
Con Can seem very complex for a novice developer
There isn't much documentation or tutorials.
Con Fragmentation; hard to find useful tutorials
Cocos2d family includes different projects: cocos2d-x, cocos2d-html5, cocos2d-objc, cocos2d-XNA. Most tutorials describe techniques specific to single project of the family, and cannot be applied to other projects.
Con Modest functionality
Almost all free alternatives are more convenient, faster, and more functional.
Con Making a device build requires internet connection
To build your app for the device (iOS/Android/AppleTV) Corona requires to fetch resources from online. This would include base application template and plugins. This allows not to perform local build or use Xcode or Android Studio to do a build. Even Large games/apps would build very fast with good internet connection.
Your code never leaves computed. Corona SDK would transfer some information to determine which plugins and pieces has to be transferred in order to make a final steps in build.
As a bonus - you get basically one button press to get from your Corona Simulator game to game on a device.
Con Closed source
Since you don't have access to the code, you can't make changes to the SDK. You even have to implement workarounds on issues that have long been reported, but never fixed.
Con Free, but not completely
Such conventional plugins as a reference to AdMob for example, cost $300 per year!