4 min read

In my recent blog, I covered 5 game engines that you can use to create 2D games. The response in the comments and on other social media websites was encouraging but also pointed out other 2D game engines. Having briefly looked at these, I thought it would be a good idea to list alternatives down.

In this blog we will cover 5 game engines you can use to create 2D games. 2D games are very appealing for a wide range of reasons. They’re great for the indie game scene, they’re great to learn the fundamentals of game development, and it’s a great place to start coding and you have fun doing it. I’ve thrown in some odd ones that you might not have considered before and remember, this isn’t a definitive list! Just my thoughts!



LÖVE2D Platform game

LÖVE2D is a 2D game framework that you can use to make 2D games using Lua, a lightweight scripting language. It can be used across Windows, Linux and Mac and costs nothing to use. The code is easy enough to use, though it might be useful to learn Lua as well. Once you get over that, games can be created with ease, and clones of Mario and Snake have become ever popular with this engine.  It has support for Box2D implementation, networking abilities and user created plugins. However, the possible downside to LÖVE is that it’s only for desktops, however to learn how to programme games this is a good starting point.


A puzzle game in Libgdx

Libgdx is a game development framework written in Java. It’s cross platform which is a major plus when developing games and can be deployed across Windows, Linux and Mac. It’s also free which a benefit is to aspiring game developers. It has multiple third party support for other tools such as Spine and Nextpeer, whilst also allowing BOX2d physics and rendering capabilities through openGL. Example projects include puzzle games, tower defense games and platformers. Extremely fun for the indie developers and hobbyists. Just learn Java……


Creating a game using GameSalad

Similar to its rivals, Construct 2 and Gamemaker, GameSalad is a game engine aimed at non-programmers. It uses a drag and drop system, similar to its competitors. Further benefits of GameSalad are that it doesn’t require any programming knowledge; instead you use Actors that defines the rules and behaviors of certain game objects. It’s cross platform which is another big plus, however to unlock the full capabilities of cross platform development you need to pay $299 a year, which is excessive for a game engine, that, whilst is good for hobbyists and beginner game developers, for what it does, the cost-value of the product isn’t that great. Still, you can try it for free and it has the same qualities as other engines.



Stencyl is a game engine that is free (free for Flash, other platforms need to be paid for) and again is a great alternative to the other drag and drop game engines that they have. Again supporting multiple platforms, support for shaders, follows an actor system, animations and support for iOS 8. The cost isn’t too bad either, for the cheaper option, with the ability to publish on web and desktop priced at $99 a year and studio priced at $199 a year. 


A basic 2D game using V-Play

A game development tool I actually know very little about but was pitched by our customers as a good alternative. V-Play appears to be component based, written in Javascript and QML (QT markup language) cross platform; it even appears to have plugins for monetizing your game and game analytics for assessing your game. It also allows for touch, includes level design, and includes Box2D as the physics engine. Whilst I know this is brief about what V-Play does and offers, as I’ve not really come across it, I don’t know too much about it, possibly one to write a blog on for the future!

This blog was to show off the other frameworks I had not considered in my previous blog, proposed by our readers. It shows that there are always more options out there; it all depends on what you want, how much you want to spend and the quality you expect from it. These are all valid choices and have opened me up to a game development tool I’d not tinkered with before, so Christmas should be fun for me!


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