Developing games for iOS (iPhones, iPad and iPod) is a pretty difficult subject, especially for many developers coming from a C# environment, like myself. Luckily, iPhone 2D Game Development isn’t so hard when you work with Unity 3D (ironic, right?!) on either your PC or Mac!

Right out of the box, Unity 3D might not seem like the perfect engine for you to use for 2D development on iPhones. After all, it does have 3D in its name!

However, with the right tools and plugins, Unity 3D becomes the perfect engine to use for your 2D iPhone Development adventures. By using plugins like 2D Toolkit, SpriteManager 2, or others located on Unity’s Asset Store, you’ll be up and running in no time with a 2D Game on your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

Using 2D Toolkit for 2D Game Development With Unity 3D

Above, I listed two popular solutions for 2D game development on the iOS, 2D Toolkit and SpriteManager 2. Those aren’t the only two that are available on the Unity Asset Store though to use for development, and they might not even be the ones that are perfect for you.

Personally, I’ve only used one of them, 2D Toolkit, and since then, have yet to find a need to switch to using SpriteManager 2 or any other 2D game development plugin for Unity 3D, however I have had many friends vouch for them.

2D Toolkit

To start off, 2D Toolkit is my favorite Unity Asset Store purchase yet. 2D Toolkit has been the key to prototyping and creating many of my Unity 3D projects. It is relatively cheap on the Unity Asset Store for $65, but is frequently on sale for less.

2D Toolkit comes packed with a Spite Collection Manager, which also batches your sprites into sprite atlases for you, which help you save space and memory for your projects.

On top of that, 2D Toolkit also has a built in Tileset Editor. You can not only import any tileset you want, you can also easily build and design levels quickly right within the Unity Editor.

2D Toolkit also has great documentation written by the developers themselves. This documentation also includes tutorials, which is useful to any beginner in the field, and gets you introduced to the plugin quickly.

One downside however is the constant “commiting” you have do with each edit you make. Sometimes on slow machines, this could take a while depending on how large some of your sprite collections are, or how large of a level you created with your tilesets.

Besides this, one flaw I’ve found with 2D Toolkit, I have yet to find anything else that has really disappointed me. Any other troubles I may have had were easily solved by reading the documentation. If you are a developer looking to make 2D games for the iPhone or iPad, 2D Toolkit is the right choice for you!

Other 2D Game Development Solutions

While I’m not very familiar with using these other 2D game development plugins for Unity 3D, I do know they exist and do have plenty of reviews on their page to vouch for them.

Conclusion on 2D Game Development on iOS

In conclusion, it is very easy to do 2D game development on your iPhone, iPod and iPad. It may not be obvious, but there are plenty of tools available on Unity’s Asset Store for you to pick up to develop with.

Even though I only talked about my personal favorite 2D game development plugin for Unity 3D, 2D Toolkit, there are plenty others available for you to get, and many of them are very valuable and useful.

If you’ve found 2D Toolkit, or any of the other 2D plugins on Unity’s Asset Store useful, let me know by leaving a comment about it below. Shed some light on some new plugins and tools with me!