I really like the convenience of unity3d. The ability to edit the level and see my results in real time are great. My problem is the idea I want to implement is 2d and uses 2d sprites. Scaling sprites appears to be a problem for me and all advice I receive says to purchase 150 dollars addons for unity. I love the physics components and the rapid prototyping but I figured that maybe unity is not the tool for the job for this 2d game.

Is there any 2d game engine like unity but for 2d games that would work on the PC and Android? Or is this something most people code themselves and make? To me the most important features of Unity3d were its ease to see what was edited and then have it apply instantly.

Thank you. Most searches seemed to give me frameworks and not a large engine suite.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Usually 2D games are pretty simple so actual game-engine isn't needed. You said that you've problem with scaling sprites; what problems do you have? I haven't programmed ever for Android, but atleast in XNA scaling sprites is pretty easy. \$\endgroup\$
    – user9790
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 0:45
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ What stops you from making your "meshes" in Unity just being flat planes with a texture mapped to them? You're not going to find anything even remotely close to Unity's tools in any simple 2D engine, so if those tools are important to you, you're going to want to stick with Unity. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 1:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unity is fundamentally not made for 2D. That's the problem. +1 good question \$\endgroup\$
    – ashes999
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Out-of-date question: Unity now has support for 2D games \$\endgroup\$
    – jhocking
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 20:15

3 Answers 3


Flashpunk is a free library for Flex which provides a lot of functionality for 2D games. It doesn't have real time level editing, but there are tile based editors you can use to easily produce levels such as the Ogmo Editor.


How about Unity itself? I know Desktop Dungeons went down that route.

Setup your sprites as flat planes in X and Y, and then use Z as your depth (greater values of z will render behind lower ones).

Use an orthographic camera to eliminate true perspective, as you're better off faking this with paralax or whatever.

You may have to build your own collision detection / physics, but in 2D they're trivial.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Trivial?! I've yet to find a 2D collision scheme that's "trivial", especially if you've never done it before. \$\endgroup\$
    – Archagon
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 10:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As @ashes999 said, Unity just isn't designed for 2D. Although it may be possible to do 2D regardless, it's harder than a custom-designed 2D engine would be (well, if it was a good engine :) . I did once try building a Pac-man demo in Unity, using many of the techniques you mentioned, and it was fairly painful... \$\endgroup\$
    – Cyclops
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose it depends on your background, if you're already a 3D person, 2D is pretty much the same deal - check this out: youtube.com/watch?v=eUVSjoT2ORA \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 9:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are 2D frameworks for unity, some are even free. That being said I just finished a game that looks 2d, even though its built using cubes and spheres. As salmonmoose said use an orthographic camera and just paint the tops of objects. assetstore.unity3d.com/#/content/1014 Seems like a good place to start \$\endgroup\$
    – ProtoJazz
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 16:41

Cocos2d Javascript bindings help you develop crossplatform mobile/browser games. Their vision is one code base accross mobile platforms and browsers. They say Mac support is there, while Windows Phone 8 support is on the way. Windows is not supported natively, though cocos2d-x project anounced that they support Windows 8 Metro. With cocos2d-html5 backend support, cocos2d-JS can be quite a portable platform.

Also there is a promising world/user interface editor called CocosBuilder. With a dedicated developer, who is employed by an industry giant, this tool has been under heavy development lately and progressing nicely.

Here is the wiki page for cocos2d-JS: https://github.com/cocos2d/cocos2d-iphone/wiki/cocos2d-and-JavaScript

Whatever you do, unless you have very good reasons and plenty of resources (work force, money, and time), don't write your own engine.


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