The Best 20 iOS and Android Mobile Game Engines + Development Platforms & Tools in 2021

In this post we are going to meet the best 2D / 3D mobile game development platforms and engines / tools you can use to build your own game for iPhone / iPad and Android devices in 2021. Apple App Store and Google Play Store are waiting for your creation… Let’s go!

How to make a mobile (Android / iOS) game and not die while trying…

Mobile game industry is constantly increasing as users’ engagement towards apps is increasing at the same time. Nowadays we don’t only use our smartphones to carry out actions like sending messages or checking up the news but as a mean of entertainment. Thanks to innovations in the industry and some platforms, creating and launching games in the app stores has become really popular among developers and companies. What is more, nowadays lots of people play with smartphones and tablets and mobile games can become a really great business if properly executed – so you don’t have any excuse, get into this business.

Mobile Game Development Tool

And don’t worry, because as always, we’ve got you covered. In case you feel overwhelmed and think that creating games is a really difficult task, go through this post about the 20 of the best Mobile Game Engines & Development and discover that you don’t really need to be an expert to develop an awesome one. Some of them are free, some are not.

ūüöÄ Top 20 Mobile Game Development Tools & Platforms Preferred by Developers for this year 2021 – Free and paid

Meet some game makers that will help you in creating your own product. Take a look and decide which is the one that best suits your needs – they all have advantages. Get ready to get a huge volume of downloads and turn your dreams into reality!

1. Unity

Unity Logo

Among the top Mobile Development engines we find Unity – a cross-platform tool launched by Unity Technologies. This platform helps you to create your own game using amazing 2D and 3D development features and work together with your team. Unity allows you to import assets from many 3D applications as Maya or Blender for example and it offers you a wide range of assets that can be purchased straight from their own store. What is more, if it’s the first time that you are developing a game don’t worry because Unity, one of the most used development platforms, provides you with help material as tutorials and guides. It is one of the most famous game creation software among developers.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Tizen OS
  • Fire OS

Pricing:

  • Free for students and for personal use
  • $40/ month for a Plus edition
  • $150/ month for a Pro edition
  • $200/ month for Enterprise edition

Some games developed using Unity: Lara Croft Go, Angry Birds 2, Pokémon Go. Some of the most downloaded games have been built using Unity.

2. Unreal Engine

unreal engine logo

If you are not an expert developer or you are a beginner¬†Unreal Engine is the platform for you because you don’t need to have any programming skills thanks to its user-friendly features. This platform allows you to make changes and modify your game with no need of programming or changing codes. Other advantages are the easiness to work with the interface and the possibility of testing your game inside the platform. Use Unreal Engine software to design impressive 3D graphics and get your users hooked to your game!

Supported platforms:

  • Windows PC
  • Sony PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Mac OS X
  • iOS
  • Android
  • VR platforms
  • Linux
  • SteamOS
  • HTML5

Pricing:

  • Free publishing and creators licenses
  • Custom license to a custom price
  • Entreprise program for $1.000 per seat/year

Some mobile games developed using Unreal Engine: Heart at Attack, Lineage II: Revolution, ABC Augmented Reality.

3. Solar2D

Evolution Logo Solar 2d Corona SDK

Solar2D, formerly known as “Corona SDK, The 2D Game Engine”, is a cross-platform that uses the Lua scripting language which is pretty easy to learn and code with. You can make use of its 2D features and find many plugins in the Corona Market place.¬†Solar2D is famous for its clear documentation and its supportive and active community. It also brings a real-time simulation that will help you to see how your app will look like after changes.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • tvOS
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • HTML5

Pricing:

  • Core functionalities are free to use

Some mobile games developed using Solar2D: Grow Beets Clicker and I Love Hue.

4. SpriteKit – 2D sprite-based games

SpriteKit Logo

Apple has launched its own game engine to create 2D games:¬†SpriteKit. This platform supports both Swift and Objective-C languages and it offers developers a wide range of features that will help them in creating high-performance 2D titles. If you are thinking of developing a game for Apple this is the platform for you. Take note: if it’s supported by Apple it means that you don’t need to download extra libraries or external sources and you can be 100% sure that it would perfectly match and suit all Apple’s new products.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS

Pricing:

  • Free

Some titles developed using SpriteKit: Squashy Bug, Trestle, and Accelebot.

5. Buildbox

Buildbox Logo

With Buildbox you can create your own 3D & 2D games in a really short time and in a really easy way. You don’t need to code – select images, import them, assign them a role (character, object, decoration, power-up, etc) and your game will get started. In addition, you can make changes and check them in real-time. If you are not a tech expert this platform is for you.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS

Pricing:

  • Free Plan
  • Plus Plan $19,99/ month
  • Pro Plan $49,99/ month

Some mobile games developed using Buildbox: Timelight, Reached, and cmnd/ctrl.

6. AppGameKit

App Game Kit Logo

AppGameKit offers solutions for all types of developers from beginners to experts and it is also a user-friendly platform that uses a similar coding language to C++. One of its best-valued characteristics is that this is cross-platform and therefore your game will be available for all different platforms at once.

Supported platforms:

  • Windows Phone
  • iOS
  • Android

Pricing:

  • The Classic App Game Kit costs $49,99
  • The Unlimited App Game Kit costs $66,98
  • There are also other more specific packs adapting to your needs.

Some mobile games developed using AppGameKit: Skrobol, Bouncing Brendan, and Na4.

7. Construct 3

Construct 3

Construct is an HTML5 platform for creating 2D games. It is very easy to use as coding is not required and it has many features that will help you in developing visually appealing games in a short time. It also allows for multiplatform export so your project will be ready to be launched on different devices at once.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Web platforms: Kongregate, NewGrounds, itch.io

Pricing:

  • Individual: ‚ā¨16,49 per month
  • Startup: ‚ā¨12,51 / seat per month
  • Business: ‚ā¨33,26 per month
  • Gambling: Price to be defined by contacting the company

Some titles developed using Construct 2: The Next Penelope, Airscape: The Fall of Gravity and Cosmochoria

8. Fusion 2.5

Fusion 2.5 Logo

If you are thinking of creating an event-based game Fusion 2.5 is the platform for you. Fusion has an easy-to-use interface and you don’t need to be an expert in programming as you won’t need to do it. They have a library full of graphics that you can use for your title. This platform can also be used to design 2D games although it’s better if you use Fusion to create static ones.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Flash
  • XNA (Windows Mobile phone and Xbox)

Pricing:

  • The full version price goes from $59.99 to $99.99
  • Additional packages price varies: from¬†$39.99 to $149.99
  • There is also a free version

Some creations using Fusion: DISTRAINT, Quadle, and Bit Odyssey

9. GameMaker Studio 2

GameMaker Studio 2 logo

Yoyo Games have launched their own platform for creating 2D games: GameMaker Studio 2. Their amazing “Drag and Drop” feature, together with their easy-to-learn language, gives you the chance to design your game in a very short time. Another advantage is that you don’t need to spend a large amount of money to get started.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • Windows Phone
  • Tizen
  • Amazon Fire
  • PS Vita
  • fireTV
  • Microsoft UWP
  • HTML5

Pricing:

  • You have a free trial of 30 days
  • Creator: from $39 per month
  • Developer: from $99 per month (the license to enable the export to Android, Fire, and iOS platforms costs $199 per month).
  • Console: from $799 per month

Some mobile games developed using GameMaker: Studio: Hyper Light Drifter, UNDERTALE, and Desert Child.

10. Titanium

Appcelerator Titanium Logo

Titanium was created by the company Appcelerator and is a platform that enables its users to create apps for different mobile devices (listed right below) with JavaScript. Thanks to its efficient modules you can save time by writing less code. Its single code base makes it even simpler and enables developers to create mobile apps with no need to manage multiple toolkits and languages. It offers more than 5.000 APIs for its different platforms.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Hybrid
  • HTML5

Pricing:

  • Indie: free
  • Pro: $199 / seat per month
  • Enterprise: custom price

11. MonoGame

Monogame Logo

MonoGame is also a multi-platform game engine that uses class architecture and works with C# and .NET languages. You can find many tutorials on their website helping you in creating your product.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

Pricing:

  • Free

Some mobile games developed using MonoGame: FEZ, Bastion, and Skulls of the Shogun.

12. Amazon Lumberyard

Amazon Lumberyard

Amazon Lumberyard is the game creator engine launched by Amazon. Make use of its free tools and create your game – it can be released on different devices thanks to its cross-platform functionality. Engage your users with visually rich content through the¬†Lumberyard’s Twitch integration.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • PC
  • Xbox One
  • PlayStation4

Pricing:

  • Free

Some games developed using Amazon Lumberyard: Crucible and Breakaway.

13. Cocos2d-x

Cocos2d-x

Cocos2d-x is a package of 2D game development tools, released by Facebook. One of its best features is that Cocos 2D-x allows you to create very small size games: 1.5 MB. It comes with detailed documentation and it has a large support community. Read and learn how to use it.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • HTML5
  • Windows
  • Mac

Pricing:

  • Free

Some mobile games developed using Cocos2d-x: Angry Birds Fight, Clash of Kings, and Brave Frontier.

14. Haxe 4

Haxe Development Platform

Haxe is a programming language that resembles JavaScript, C++, C#, Java, JVM, Python, Lua, PHP, and Flash languages. It also includes a library from which you can select frameworks and choose between a wide range of functions and procedures (APIs) to develop your mobile game.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • HTML5

Pricing:

  • They have different support plans (free, professional, enterprise and elite).

Some titles developed using Haxe: Rymdkapsel, Papers, Please, and Dead Cells.

15. Gideros

Gideros¬†is¬†an open-sourced and free platform. You can create amazing games and launch them on different platforms with no need to make additional changes thanks to its cross-platform functionality. Gideros uses the same scripting language as Corona: Lua. You can also test your game on a real device and in real-time, isn’t it exciting? Try this tool and tell us in the comments.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • MacOSX
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows
  • Windows RT

Pricing:

  • Free

Some mobile games developed using Gideros: Willihard, Bubble Puddle and Elemental Clash.

16. Godot

Godot

Godot is a game engine that provides developers with a big set of tools so that they can mainly focus on making their game. It is a simple platform to develop mobile games with innovative design, friendly content creation, flexible scene… With Godot, you can create 2D and 3D games.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • UWP
  • *BSD

Pricing:

  • Free

17. CRYENGINE

CRYENGINE

CRYENGINE is a powerful game development platform known for its high-quality visuals. It offers a whole set of tools to create experiences, animations, audio to create your mobile game. It is an easy platform to manage for developers and provides good support.

Supported platforms:

  • All platforms

Pricing:

  • Use of the platform is free
  • 5% royalty when shipping the project (first $5K annual revenue are royalty-free)

18. Phaser

Phaser

Phaser is a fun and colorful 2D game development platform for desktop and mobile. It works with an open-source framework for Canvas and WebGL.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Also sells separate plugins

19. Defold

Defold

Defold is a cross-platform game engine for web and for mobile. Its wide range of features makes it easy to use as you have nothing to set-up to start. The engine is focused on 2D but also enables to develop 3D designs.

Supported platforms:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Steam
  • HTML5

Pricing:

  • Free

20. Starling Framework

starling framework

Starling is a cross-platform game engine. It is open-source, is free, and can be used with no strings attached. Its complete documentation makes it easy to understand.

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android

Pricing:

  • Free

To sum up: Mobile Game Development Platforms & Tools 2021 (Android + iOS)

How to make a mobile game in 2021?

There are some¬†mobile game development platforms and tools¬†in the market and we have outlined the most widespread engines that can help build breathtaking top Android / iOS titles. While choosing a platform to develop a game, take into account your budget (although some are free), ideas, requirements, and expectations. Then, choose the best option for you. It‚Äôs rather tough decision, but you can go through it with flying colors and create an EPIC 2D / 3D game that you will have to market it properly to acquire players, do App Store SEO, etc… But that is another story. Finally, did you know that marketing for an application is not the same as for a game? There are some differences, as you can read in this interesting article.

Note: the IndieASO community has contributed to this content. Thank you!

What do you think of this post about game creation? Do you want to start programming your own titles? What software development platform / tool or engine do you use to build your games? What are, in your opinion, the best 2d game engines? Tell us in the comments.

As usual, sharing is caring ūüėČ

This post was originally written by Cristina Stefanova.

Maud Panier
Maud Panier
Content & Social Media Manager at TheTool. I enjoy traveling, sports and I'm always willing to discover new things and face new challenges.

2 thoughts on “The Best 20 iOS and Android Mobile Game Engines + Development Platforms & Tools in 2021”

  1. Hey guys,
    Could someone who has already used some of the alternatives on their devices give me a feedback on the ones that work the best without any glitches? For both android and iOS.
    thank you

    Reply

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