In 2012, Klei Entertainment (which would later go on khổng lồ produce Don’t Starve) debuted Mark of the Ninja on the Xbox Live Arcade, introducing a bold 2 chiều take on the stealth genre. Boasting gorgeous hand-drawn visuals & tight, open-ended gameplay, this new platformer quickly developed a reputation for its quality, cementing it as a cult classic và a genre standout. Now, six years later, Klei has brought Mark of the Ninja: Remastered to the Switch, promising all the content of the Special Edition along with a few other improvements. It turns out that time has been extremely kind lớn this game; Mark of the ninja still stands as one of the best stealth games ever made, và now it looks & sounds better than ever.

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Mark of the ninja follows the story of a nameless ninja—sometimes referred khổng lồ as “The Champion”—on a quest with his fellow ninja, Ora, lớn slay the evil Count Karajan for attacking the Hisomu clan with his private military group. While Ora remains a normal (albeit badass) ninja, the protagonist has received the eponymous Mark of the Ninja, a tattoo which grants the wearer superhuman reflexes & senses, but eventually drives them mad. As the plot progresses and the protagonist becomes more unhinged, the lines begin khổng lồ blur in more ways than one as alliances are called into question & friends become foes.


It may not be a terribly emotional plot, but it"s certainly engaging & well-paced, with much of this being due lớn the excellent voice work & cutscenes. Each stage is bookended by a brief fifteen to thirty second voiced cutscene that echoes the art style of Samurai Jack, và these go a long way towards setting the tone and getting you accustomed khổng lồ the cast of characters. Even so, there’s plenty of dialogue laid into each màn chơi as well, with Ora being frequently used as a convenient device for conveying exposition & light tutorializing. It all meshes together quite well, making for an experience that’ll have you eager to lớn play that next cấp độ to see what happens next, & that’s before we even get to lớn the stellar gameplay.

Mark of the nin-ja is a stealth trò chơi through & through, playing the tropes straight in a way that encourages experimentation, creativity, quick reflexes, và quite a bit of planning. Each level is laid out in a relatively non-linear way, giving the players ample choice in exactly how they’d lượt thích to approach the solution khổng lồ a problem. You can choose lớn kill all the guards in a room, let them all live, or bypass the room entirely in favor of taking an alternate route, và each one of these ways is equally viable. There are some real consequences to player choice, too, with some surprising outcomes happening in what should’ve otherwise been a straightforward plan.

For example, one mission saw us having to lớn steal an item off a guard, & we were given the choice of killing him or just pickpocketing the item. Not seeing a difference, we chose to lớn kill him for the extra points, but it turned out that he was wearing a heartbeat monitor which alerted the whole complex to lớn the presence of an intruder. It’s moments like these which show how well Klei has mastered the kiến thiết of a stealth game, with the overall pace oscillating wildly between calm and chaotic at the drop of a hat. One minute everything goes according to lớn plan và then something goes wrong, demanding that you think fast on your feet to lớn find a new solution. Knowing this, there’s always a tense air lớn every kích hoạt you make, making each kill & narrow escape a thrilling experience.


Every cấp độ is designed with chất lượng mechanics in mind, organically introducing the concept to the player and then building upon it as the cấp độ progresses và becomes more difficult. One memorable level has you infiltrating an enormous castle during a thunderstorm, with the occasional flashes of lightning giving away your position if you’re not hidden properly. Another features poisonous gas and moving crates that can be manoeuvred around as they proceed on their track. There aren"t very many puzzles in the traditional gaming sense, but rather, the whole trò chơi is a sort of puzzle, handing the player all the tools they need and letting them figure out a solution.

Unlike many other stealth games, Mark of the ninja doesn’t hide many of its mechanics from the player, meaning that every mistake made rests purely on you. For example, every guard has a cone of vision depicting exactly how far they can see, giving you the chance to lớn pick out blind spots & plan your route. Alternatively, your ninja can’t see through walls, so if you happen to lớn be standing on a solid ceiling with a guard below you, the sound of his pacing footsteps is represented by a series of small rings moving across the floor. It’s having access to all this information that makes Mark of the ninja such a joy to play, as each victory or defeat feels entirely earned.

Your ninja’s success will depend considerably on the usage of gadgets, which help showroom a considerable amount of depth to lớn each encounter và give the player greater agency in how they approach them. You have an endless supply of bamboo darts—perfect for knocking out lights & fuse boxes—but your arsenal also consists of flares, firecrackers, spike traps, carnivorous insects & more. Each of these has distinct advantages and disadvantages, favoring a variety of playstyles, và this can make subsequent runs through levels more interesting as you try out different toolsets. Moreover, costumes with different playstyles, new takedown techniques, gadgets, & gadget upgrades can all be bought on an occasionally available tăng cấp screen.


Player performance is judged in myriad ways throughout each level, with a handful of platforming challenges, collectables, và optional sub-objectives all deciding how many Seals you’re given khổng lồ buy upgrades with. The sprawling stages are filled with all sorts of nooks & crannies along the routes, và some of these are sure lớn contain scrolls which help fill out more of the Hisomu clan’s history. Some of these scrolls aren’t simply handed khổng lồ you, instead tasking you with going through a difficult, isolated platforming stage that usually stands well above anything in the main cấp độ in terms of challenge. Every level also has three ‘achievements’ lớn attempt if you’re feeling lucky, such as goading a guard into shooting another guard, or sneaking past a particularly difficult encounter without being seen once.

All these extra sub-elements bởi a great job of giving the gameplay much more versatility, as the player is encouraged to bởi more than simply clear the next required encounter & keep moving on. Having things khổng lồ reward the player for exploring the màn chơi with greater scrutiny, or for approaching combat encounters in slightly handicapped or unconventional ways, helps lớn give both the exploration và combat greater staying power; there’s much more to both elements if you’re willing to lớn invest the time or skill.

From a presentation perspective, Mark of the nin-ja manages to lớn impress, going for a distinctive, dark, hand-drawn look that’s packed with charm. The ninja’s movements are all animated in amazingly fluid ways, and there are plenty of minor environmental details that make the levels feel lượt thích real places - such as when infiltrating an ominous castle in the rain or skulking through ancient catacombs filled with bones và chains. The sound thiết kế is a perfect match for the tone being set, with there being next lớn no music during sections when creeping through shadows, while the theme that plays when you’re slowly choking on gas rivals the Sonic the Hedgehog drowning theme in terms of how quickly it instigates anxiety và panic.


This being the ‘Remastered’ version naturally brings expectations that this is an enhanced version of the chip core game, & while it could certainly be said that this is the definitive version, it’s only by a hair. All the nội dung from the previous Special Edition release is present here, including the ‘Dosan’s Tale’ DLC level, as well as the option khổng lồ enable developer commentary, manifesting as interactable bubbles placed throughout levels which explain some behind the scenes processes of the game’s development. These surprisingly địa chỉ a lot lớn one’s enjoyment of the game, as you’re told exactly why that obstacle you just passed was designed that way, or how the art department struggled to settle on the look of the room you’re in. Aside from that, & this version"s higher unique art & sound, we didn’t notice anything else particularly grabbing. Still, it’s nice lớn know that this version has been polished up quite a bit.


Mark of the ninja Remastered is an utterly stellar stealth trò chơi and, six years on, it’s lost none of the magic that made the original such a critical darling. A strong art direction, engaging story, well-paced mở cửa gameplay, and a slew of extra nội dung all combine to lớn make for a near-flawless experience that you certainly won’t want to miss out on. We’d give this game a high recommendation to all Switch owners; it’s the best stealth trò chơi money can buy in the Switch library, & one of the best ones in any console library.

Excellent 9/10

Scoring PolicyReview copy provided by Klei Entertainment


Mitch has been a fan hâm mộ of Nintendo ever since he got his start on the GBA in 2005. When he"s not busy playing games or writing, you can find him down at his local MMA training facility learning how khổng lồ punish the unrighteous.

Mon 15th Oct 2018

Picking this up soon. Got this on PC ages ago but never got a chance lớn finish (thanks humble bundle)

It"ll be nice lớn have this on the go.

Mon 15th Oct 2018


This game runs at 30fps on the Switch while the 6 year old Xbox 360 version runs at 60fps.

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9/10 -


Mon 15th Oct 2018

I read the Switch version has performance issues, like the frame rate locked at 30 fps in handheld mode và quite not solid 60 fps if docked.Considering this is a 2012 game I find it disappointing. Did you played it portable?


Mon 15th Oct 2018

I wonder if this will entice Ubisoft lớn release the Assassin"s Creed Chronicles series on the Switch.

Mon 15th Oct 2018

Re: Frame Rate: Played through the game over the weekend. I"m not Digital Foundry but I didn"t notice anything to remark on where the frame rate is concerned — it honestly never even entered into my mind. I also played through the trò chơi when it originally came out on the XBone.

It"s a ton of sneaking và carefully considering your actions — really never felt lượt thích FPS was a concern. I had a ton of fun revisiting the game & will definitely tackle the NG+ b/c it"s just one of those games that"s fun to play.

I only played docked.

Mon 15th Oct 2018

Frame rate is absolutely noticeable and although this is not a twitch game, it can be bothersome under specific circumstances, lượt thích when trying khổng lồ escape quickly or hide bodies. If we don"t complain about it, they won"t bother fixing it.

mister_magnus That"s the problem with đánh giá these days. Nobody really tests the game anymore. Especially here they pass out 9 outta 10 scores lượt thích skittles.

How can you give a near perfect score & not thử nghiệm the trò chơi in undocked mode? How is that credible?

Plus a remaster should run better than the original.

I understand though, everybody is running to lớn get the first đánh giá online. There is no time to lớn thoroughly play the game. Just make stuff up.

geox30 No doubt your observations are valid. Again, I didn"t notice any issues with the frame rate, but I also wasn"t looking for them. I also play pretty deliberately.

BigKing It actually took too long, imo, for reviews of this game to hit. I expected them Day One last week (this is a release I"ve been anticipating), so having word come out almost a week later has been a surprise.

My biggest detraction has actually been that I"d hoped for a smaller file size.

mister_magnusI have the trò chơi on Steam và love it lớn bits. I feel tricked, having bought the game a second time only lớn find out that the so called remastered version is inferior to a 6 yo 2d game, when there is absolutely no reason lớn run so poorly.

Mon 15th Oct 2018

Kalmaro me too. Got it on PC but onky played the first couple levels. I shall get this again

Mon 15th Oct 2018

Waits patiently for a physical version.

Mon 15th Oct 2018

I bought this trò chơi on Steam years ago but never really got into it or finished it. Bought it for switch on day 1 and have nearly completed it already.

I"ve been playing an equal split between handheld and docked and haven"t once noticed any FPS issues.

This is really fun khổng lồ play and suits the switch khung factor. If stealth games are your thing then this is a must. Just Oxygen not included to go now... Please Klei!

Mon 15th Oct 2018

I"m not a frame rate enthusiast by any means, but I was expecting this review to address the stability issues this trò chơi reportedly is having. Thought maybe it got patched already

Mon 15th Oct 2018

I have this game on PC but the price isn"t low enough for me khổng lồ justify double dipping. It"s a shame because otherwise I"d be all over this.