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The Best 10 Mobile Game Engines and Development Platforms & Tools in 2019

Nov 22, 2019

Use the tips in this article to choose the best engine for developing a mobile game in 2019.

When you consider developing your own game, the first question is what is the best game development software to use for the game. This article will tell you about the most popular game engines and software to use to build up your ideas.

10. RPG Maker

If you are completely curious about programming, but you still want to make games, you should give a try to RPG Maker. It is a series of software designed to create tile-based role-playing games. RPG Maker has been introduced in far 1992. It was originally released primarily in Japan but came out to the whole world with much later versions.

Hundreds of games, made with the engine, are being released on Google Play and App Store every year. It supports many popular consoles, Android and iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac. It is very simple to sort out how to use it, without any piece of coding or programming knowledge. So this is one of the best game engines for beginners who want to build a 2D RPG.

It is cheap and distributed on Steam. Its cost is only 80$.

9. SpriteKit

If you want to build a 2D game specifically for iOS or OS X, SpriteKit is an option for you. It was designed by Apple and for Apple products, making developing and publishing much faster and smoother than other engines. SpriteKit was released along with iOS 7 and Apple was providing decent compatibility with its products’ features, supporting both Objective-C and Swift. But programming scenes would be really a challenge if you are completely new to programming.

Many engines below support iOS too, so you might want to go along and check other engines.

8. GameMaker Studio 2

GameMaker Studio is a game engine for making 2D games, released by Yo-Yo Games in 1999. GameMaker Studio 2 has its own visual-scripting language, also known as Game Maker Language, and supports developing with clean C++ and C#. GameMaker Studio supports all common platforms. Since it was designed for 2D development purposes it provides such useful tools as Tilesets, Spine-powerful 2D animation tool and in-engine image editor. Undertale, Hotline Miami and Risk of Rain have been developed with GameMaker Studio. Unfortunately, developing a 3D game maker does not support.

If you want to try it out for education purposes you can buy a 1-month subscription for 10$, or only 30$ for one year.

7. Godot

If you are a beginner at game development, Godot engine is a good option for you. It is one of the completely free game engines with keeping 100% of your profit without any restrictions. Engine’s developers also provide a huge library of tutorials and documentation for newcomers. Godot supports both 3D and 2D but it’s mostly popular for making simple 2D games. It supports all common platforms and it could run on Linux. Godot has its dedicated language GDScript but also supports C++ and C#, that may be worked around with visual-scripting node-based workflows like Unreal Engine’s Blueprint and IDE that comes with the engine.

6. CoronaSDK

One of the best ways to build your first game is to use CoronaSDK. It is free, easy-to-learn, powerful, cross-platform tool. If you’ll need some special features, Corona offers a wide range of plugins on the market. One of the features of Corona is a real-time preview feature, that allows to make changes and instantly see how they affect your game, everything from advertising to analytics. It works with simple scripting language LUA supporting C, C++, Objective C, Java and HTML5.

5. Cocos2D

Cocos2D is a series of frameworks used to build cross-platform GUI-based interactive games and apps, with providing a huge library of official tutorials and assets. It is famous for its wide multi-language branches to work around: C++, C#, JavaScript, Python and Swift. The community have also integrated many independent editors such as SpriteSheet editor, Tilemaps, font editor and SpriteBuilder with CocoStudio. Famous mobile games Badland, Geometry Dash and Family Guy are made with Cocos2D-X.

4. Buildbox

Buildbox is a great solution for those who don’t like coding since it uses a visual programming interface. It is one of the best ways to create casual mobile games quickly. Its store includes thousands of free assets and animations to build your game with. Many developers are abusing its ability to produce games very fast. Builbox supports both 2D and 3D game development. It has many pre-built systems that are often included in games by developers.

It costs from 99$ to 299$ per year depending on your purposes.

3. Lumberyard

Lumberyard is a new free open-source game engine by Amazon, based on CryEngine. You may remember the game called ‘Crysis’ that exploded the video game market with its cool technologies and graphics. Now imagine CryEngine upgraded with many new features such as upgraded UI and shaders. The main of them is Amazon Web Services integration that allows developers to host and build their projects on clouds to maximize the development speed a lot. One of the most ambitious and big games Star Citizen is developed with Lumberyard.

2. Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine is a growing in popularity game engine developed by Epic Games. For the first time, it was demonstrated in 1998. It is called in honor of the game which the engine was developed for, ‘Unreal’. Many popular MMORPGs were built with Unreal Engine, namely Lineage 2, Tera, Blade & Soul and single-player games: Mass Effect, Bioshock and Borderlands. It offers a vast variety of features and tools for 3D and 2D development for PC and Mobile. Unreal Engine 4 offers its ‘visual-scripting’ system called ‘Blueprint’ that is represented by the node-based interface, to make coding much easier to understand for newcomers. Its store includes a huge library of quality assets and scripts to build your game with. It is already considered one of the best engines for Android game development.

It is completely free-to-use but in case you’ve earned 3000$, you should pay 5% royalty.

1. Unity

Unity, as well as Unreal Engine, is one of the best and flexible game engines for both 3D and 2D games, cross-platform mobile games. It is the most commonly used game engine for Android game development. The most popular games build with Unity are: Hearthstone, The Forest, Cuphead, Pokémon GO and VRChat. Unity was launched in 2005 and for this long time it has collected vast variety of tools and features that allow developers to build their games as they want.

The engine supports building to any platform developers might want to as well as AR and VR devices support, including phone VR. Unity offers its Asset Store, where you can find almost any model or image to use, or even pre-written scripts. If you have ever worked with any Java game engine, Unity, which is working with C# would be really easy to understand for you. Unity supports all common file formats to work with, so if somehow you haven’t found what you need you could always refer to external content-sharing services. Unity game maker, as well as Unreal Engine 4, is one of the best game-engines to start your game-developer deal with.

We hope you’ve found a game engine to use to build your own game using tips from the article. Remember that your choice should be depending on the game you’re developing, your programming knowledge, developers’ team, visuals and functionality you want to achieve.

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