When comparing Corona SDK vs jMonkey3, the Slant community recommends Corona SDK for most people. In the question“What are the best 100% free and easy game engines for beginners?” Corona SDK is ranked 5th while jMonkey3 is ranked 23rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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
Pro Free and open-source
jMonkey is completely free, meaning it's possible to develop and release a game with no fees or royalties. Because it is open-source, jMonkey has plenty of people fixing bugs and, adding to the engine as well as creating a variety of plugins that can be used in the engine.
Pro Not limited to using its own IDE
Unlike some engines, jMonkey doesn't force its own IDE. You can use its Netbeans-based IDE, but you can also set up a project to work in another IDE such as Eclipse. You can still use the special tools from jMonkey's IDE in such projects.
Pro Offers both low-level and high-level ways of editing shaders
Modifying shaders can be done either via a visual tool called Shader Nodes or via GLSL that allow you to make your own shaders without the engine getting in the way or having to hack around to do so.
Pro Engine modifications can be made using Java
Because jMonkey is implemented in Java, the same language its apps are typically developed in, developers will have an easier time modifying the engine to their needs.
Pro Ease of extensibility
Engine is modifiable.
Pro Has everything
jMonkey3 handles input from computers and mobile devices. It handles networking, physics, rendering, terrain, and cinematics.
Pro Java is a great development platform
Java is a well-optimized just-in-time compiled language. It's faster than languages without an effective native-code compiler such as Python or Ruby, similar in speed to other just-in-time compiled languages such as C#, while slightly slower than compiled languages such as C or C++ (with some low-level and numeric benchmarks being similar to C++).
Java also has a wide variety of high-class IDEs available.
Pro Freedom of choice for architecture
The user is not compelled to use any programming architecture nor standard in order to make a project working. JME allows the freedom to use what is best for a game.
Pro Multiplatform support
Code can be ported to mobile (iOS is in the works) and other Android supported devices with minor changes to the code (just change some implementations that vary on the platform such as inputs and user interface). It can even run on certain Raspberry Pi devices.
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!
Con Not an engine for total beginners
While it's clear that you need to know Java first before using this engine, it is recommended that you have some programming experience as well. Most performance issues and memory leaks are more due to bad programming practices than the engine itself.
Con Slow release cycle
jMonkey3 lacks manpower to have a fast and decent release cycle.
Con Terrible API reference
The methods are not defined.