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Recently I’ve been interested in games created using JavaScript.  JavaScript is everywhere and works with a lot of devices and platforms including mobile devices that run on iOS, Android, Windows and FirefoxOS. On the web seems that games using HTML and JavaScript have started to replace those using older technologies like Flash.  Here is a list of JavaScript libraries that I have seen recommended for creating games. To compile this list I looked at libraries that are free, preferably open source, actively updated and focuses mainly on 2D.



CreateJS

http://createjs.com/

 

CreateJS is a suite of libraries that can be used to create interactive content using HTML5 and JavaScript.  CreateJS is composed of several separate libraries: EaselJS, TweenJS, SoundJS and PreloadJS to handle functionality commonly needed in games and animation.  Unlike the other libraries in this list CreateJS isn’t targeted at creating games.  Instead it seem like it’s goal is closer to being a Flash replacement. It also has many integrations with tools. Adobe Flash CC is able to export directly to CreateJS.

 

CraftyJS

http://craftyjs.com/

 

CraftyJS is a Javascript game engine that describes itself as a “flexible framework for Javascript games”. It features:

  1. OpenSource

  2. Works with all modern browsers including IE9

  3. Uses Cavas or DOM to render entities

  4. Small file size

  5. Sprit map support

  6. Collision detection

 

Pixi.js

https://github.com/GoodBoyDigital/pixi.js

 

Pixi.js is a lightweight 2D library that uses WebGL, falls back on Canvas and boasts fast performance for both. Some game engines make use of Pixi.js’ strong 2D support.  Some of the features include:

 

  1. Asset loader / sprite sheet loader

  2. Masking

  3. Filters

  4. Easy to use API

  5. Full mouse and multi-touch interaction

  6. WebGL and Canvas rendering

  7. Texture atlases

 

Kiwi.js

http://www.kiwijs.org/

Kiwi.js is a fun and friendly open source HTML5 game engine.  Some of Kiwi.js’ features include:

 

  1. Canvas and WebGL rendering

  2. Support for spritesheets, texture atlases and individual images

  3. Entity/Component system

  4. Multitouch support

  5. State management

  6. File management and loading

 

Melon.js

http://melonjs.org/

 

Melon.js is a free, open source light weigh JavaScript game engine. Some of its features include:

 

  1. Lightweight physic implementation

  2. Collision detection

  3. Tween effects

  4. Transition effects

  5. Basic particle system

  6. Spritesheet and packed texture support

  7. State manager

  8. Tile map integration

 

Panda

http://www.pandajs.net/

 

Panda is a free HTML5 game engine.  It features:

 

  1. Canvas/WebGL rendering

  2. Particle engine

  3. Tweening

  4. Physics engine

  5. Timers

  6. Sound manager

  7. Ability to organize code in modules

 

Phaser

https://phaser.io/

 

Phaser is a fast, free and fun open source framework for games. Phaser is popular on GitHub. One thing that interests me about Phaser is it is one of the few game engines that has a set up guide using TypeScript.  Some of Phaser’s features include:

 

  1. WebGL & Canvas

  2. Preloader

  3. Physics

  4. Sprites

  5. Animation

  6. Particles

  7. Tilemaps

  8. Camera

  9. Plugin system

 

Quintus

http://www.html5quintus.com/

 

Quintus is an “easy-to-learn, fun-to-use” JavaScript HTML5 game engine. Quintus seems to be a younger library, but I’ve seen it mentioned on several sites.  Quintus also seems to cover the basics of a game engine, but is not as full-featured or refined as other game engines on this list.

 

Stage.js

http://piqnt.com/stage.js/

 

Stage.js is a 2D HTML5 JavaScript game engine that is lightweight, fast and open source.  Stage.js seems to include many of the basics for a game engine including the game loop, events, support for mouse and touch, texture atlas, images, animation and tweening.  

 

In the future I hope to pick a few of these and hopefully one day create a simple game. If anyone knows of any good JavaScript game engines that are not on this list please let me know.

 

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Comment by Scott Murphy on June 17, 2015 at 6:35pm

I haven't used some of these but I can say that Pixi is just plain awesome!  I used it several times and it works well for games but it's also great for getting great performance in a 2d context.  Awesome for interactive websites.

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