Studies have shown that serious games for health can improve patient compliance and help to increase the quality of medical education. Due to a growing availability of mobile devices, especially the development of cross-platform mobile apps is helpful for improving healthcare. As the development can be highly time-consuming and expensive, an alternative development process is needed. Game engines are expected to simplify this process. Therefore, this article examines the question whether using game engines for cross-platform serious games for health can simplify the development compared to the development of a plain HTML5 app. At first, a systematic review of the literature was conducted in different databases (MEDLINE, ACM and IEEE). Afterwards three different game engines were chosen, evaluated in different categories and compared to the development of a HTML5 app. This was realized by implementing a prototypical application in the different engines and conducting a utility analysis. The evaluation shows that the Marmalade engine is the best choice for development in this scenario. Furthermore, it is obvious that the game engines have great benefits against plain HTML5 development as they provide components for graphics, physics, sounds, etc. The authors recommend to use the Marmalade Engine for a cross-platform mobile Serious Game for Health.
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