Mark of the Ninja is a 2D cel-shaded platformer wherein players sneak, hide, and distract their way through multiple levels of guards and enemies, earning points based on stealthiness to rack up high scores. The game features a number of enchanting ninja-themed mechanisms, from hiding in doorways and climbing through elaborate vent systems, to dangling from grappling hooks and using bamboo darts to confuse guards. Points are awarded based the player's ability to avoid detection and confrontation, as well as to successfully find artifacts and scrolls that key into the mysterious source of the protagonist's powers.
Mark of the Ninja is a stealth game developed by Klei Entertainment for Xbox Live Arcade. Mark of the Ninja is one of those few games that triumphs in virtually every area. The controls are instinctual and easy to pick up, and selecting items is done completely through controller buttons, eliminating disruptive trips to the menu and adding a fluidity that contributes to the foreboding stillness of the game's atmosphere. The first level adequately familiarizes the player with the various tools and stealth techniques, while secondary objectives (called "seals") reinforce their constant use. Color cues are used frequently, guiding the player to climbable walls or demonstrating their visibility to guards, which have a detection range illustrated by orbs indicating their line of sight.