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Creating stunning, high-quality, interactive games on the web has never been easier. Thanks to recent advances, web games are more than just simple card games or 2D games. 3D shooters, RPGs, and simulations are now possible.

HTML5

HTML5 is simply jargon for a collection of modern web technologies. Besides HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, HTML5 comes out of the box with several APIs and technologies like WebGL and WebSockets to take web game development to the next level. Moreover, HTML5 games have the obvious advantage of being cross-platform, given their ability to work on any modern device. Fortunately, there are an overwhelming number of game engines for HTML5. Let’s go over some of the most popular ones.

Phaser

Phaser is a fast, free, and open-source 2D HTML5 game engine that uses WebGL and Canvas rendering to develop games for web browsers across desktop and mobile. Third-party tools and plugins enable developers to easily add additional functionality, such as compiling their games as native iOS, Android, and desktop applications.

GDevelop

GDevelop is a free, full-featured, open-source HTML5 game engine for building 2D games. Its main appeals are its visual programming and 1-click cross-platform distribution. It allows JavaScript functionality for those who want to extend the engine’s capabilities. With a single click, the game engine can export to stand-alone games on many platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mobile.

Construct 3

Construct 3 is an HTML5 game engine capable of building 2D and 3D games. Like GDevelop, it offers visual programming with the addition of JavaScript and the ability to distribute games to many platforms efficiently. While it provides many features like a game engine of its caliber, it’s important to note that Construct 3 is not entirely free.

Honorable mentions

It’s not easy to narrow down the best HTML5 game engines. Ultimately, it comes down to the features the game demands. But it would be remiss of us not to mention the following game engines due to their unique abilities and impact on the web game developers community.

  • ImpactJS: Free top-quality 2D, 2.5D game engine.
  • PlayCanvas: 3D HTML5 game engine with cloud-based tools.
  • PixiJS: Fast 2D rendering engine can easily create rich, interactive animations, graphics, and games. Used by many game engines, including Phaser, GDevelop, and ImpactJS.
  • Three.js: Most popular JavaScript framework for creating and animating 3D graphics in the browser.

Instructions

Review the exercise content by referencing the web engine table to compare each feature.

Move on to the next exercise when ready.

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