I’m a big fan of stealth games – the stealthier the better. Splinter Cell comes to mind when asked to pick my favorite in the genre, but Klei Entertainment’s new Mark of the Ninja game, now available on the Xbox Live Arcade, has immediately shot to my top five alongside greats like Metal Gear Solid, Thief, and Deus Ex. For stealth gameplay to work you have to have a few key ingredients. You need AI opponents who are aware of their surroundings but not so vigilant that they are impossible to trick or defeat. You also need control of your environment. Lighting is a key factor and I despise games that call themselves “stealth” but don’t allow you to destroy lights. And finally, you need agile movement and precise controls. Mark of the Ninja not only delivers on all of these, it actually innovates on a few of them.