A game development tool in the development category, Novashell is characterized as a high-level 2D game maker that tries to handle all the hard work behind the scenes.
It is extremely customizable and uses the scripting language Lua. It is similar to Game Maker's "room" idea in that everything is a "level" and all objects—including GUI, effects, etc.—are the same sort of scriptable object or tile. Additionally, it may be extended via C++ plug-ins. The plug-in interface was designed to enable object control and the creation of AIs (to the point that plug-ins are called "Brain") However, you may very much do whatever you like; the Ludum Dare 14 winner was a game created entirely in the Brain, down to the graphics.
There are a bunch of decent tools out there that offer the same array of services as Novashell. And it can sure get confusing to choose the best from the lot. Luckily, we've got you covered with our curated lists of alternative tools to suit your unique work needs, complete with features and pricing.