When comparing Stencyl vs Pico-8, the Slant community recommends Stencyl for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines for beginners?” Stencyl is ranked 4th while Pico-8 is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Stencyl is:
Visual scripting in Stencyl is based on the [MIT Scratch](http://scratch.mit.edu/) project, which was designed to teach programming. Script elements fit together like puzzle pieces, ensuring that data and function types cannot be mismatched.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro No coding required, great drag & drop interface
Visual scripting in Stencyl is based on the MIT Scratch project, which was designed to teach programming. Script elements fit together like puzzle pieces, ensuring that data and function types cannot be mismatched.
Publish iOS, Android, Flash, Windows and Mac games without code.
Pro Haxe scripting available for advanced users
Power users can also write code in Haxe (similar to Actionscript 3) to create their own custom classes and extend the engine.
Pro The original concept for Ghost Song was created using Stencyl
The original concept for Ghost Song was created using Stencyl 3.x
Pro Great performance on every platform
Stencyl exports your games to native code so they have great performance on every platform.
Pro Restrictions of tokens count "forces" to write code effectively
When you reach 8192 tokens, you're screwed. However, this limit can teach you to take a look on entire code and think you could optimize it.
Pro Possible writing code in external editor
Since launch of 0.1.12c version of software, you can now write and include external script using the same directive just like in C / C++.
Pro Takes away the pain of having to wire things together
Because it's an all in one product, you don't have to worry about things like how to load sprites.
Pro Very simple programing language
It's lua with a few modifications.
Pro Encourages building simple games
As a beginner it's all to tempting to try to make the games you like to play, like Zelda or Call of Duty when we should probably be making pong.
Pro Perhaps one of the easiest sound editors around
Pro Share the game in a .png file with other pico-8 users
Pro You can read the code of any game you play
Pro Lots of examples
Almost every game made for the Pico-8 is open source (if you can download the .png, you can see the source).
Also there's the fancy Pico-8 "fanzine" that has lots of code examples as well as other great tutorials in a beautiful physical or PDF form.
Pro Easy to get things going very quickly
It needs much to improve for mobile games, it was left in the era of Flash games. In Android you can not even put the native keyboard, you can not access things like native camera, GPS or native text input.
Con Only available via subscription
There should be an option to buy it outright, especially considering it is written by a one man team....this is not exactly an Adobe level enterprise with shareholders, so there is no excuse!
Con Slow release cycle
Con Not a powerful engine
Should be used for basic games only.
Con Tile system is somewhat inflexible
Con No delta time
Game loop could be updated 30 or 60 times per second. Using 60 fps, all stuff moves twice as fast due to the lack of delta time calculation. You have to set it manually.
Con Costs 15$
Unlike many of the other frameworks it's not free. However this is kind of a feature because it means it's much more likely to be supported.
Con No collision library or other common things
Pico-8 is very minimalistic and as such doesn't come with really any abstractions whatsoever which means often you end up re-inventing the wheel.
Con Code editor leaves some things to be desired
Such as code completion and automatic indentation.