When comparing Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family vs Irrlicht, the Slant community recommends Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family for most people. In the question“What are the best 100% free and easy game engines for beginners?” Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is ranked 5th while Irrlicht is ranked 34th. The most important reason people chose Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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.
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 Highly active community for questions and support
Cocos2d-x forums are active.
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.
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 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 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 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 No external dependencies
Because it is based on Pyglet.
Pro Lots of examples and docs
Many working examples to study and learn. You can easily experiment modifying an example code to grok in full how the engine works. In the beginning of your learning curve, the example code will offer you many useful code snippets.
Pro Free and open source
Pro Good polymorphic design
If you are considering writing your own engine with openGL, you might want to consider Irrlicht instead. It makes many features of any engine worth its salt easy, including events, serialization, nodes, animators, materials, logging, and animation. Bring your own sound and networking.
Especially if you compile it yourself, it can be very light in memory usage.
Pro Easy to entry level C++ experience
If you want to start game developing with C++, then Irrlicht is a good candidate since it removes most of the complications in game making in C++. It will let you obtain experience in programming and games at the same time.
Pro Support for multiple formats
This engine supports multiple formats for 3D objects and textures.
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 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 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 Inefficiency in making 3D games
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 Can seem very complex for a novice developer
There isn't much documentation or tutorials.
Con Modest functionality
Almost all free alternatives are more convenient, faster, and more functional.
Obsolete over 5 years ago. While the engine is being worked on with plans for new features and support, the movement is slow, leaving many engines far more advanced in certain areas.
Con Not a game engine
This is a 3D graphics engine similar to Ogre3D. Thus, it doesn't provide any pathfinding or physics support. Support for those will have to be added by the dev.