When we think of stealth games, it’s mostly the first- and third-person action games that come to mind.

Thief, Hitman, Metal Gear Solid, all classics. What doesn’t get quite the same spark of recognition, however, are the 2D stealth games, of which there are more than you’d think.

While they might not be quite as immersive as their FPP/TPP cousins are, they do have a unique appeal of their own, so let’s take a quick look at them, shall we?

Flat, but not shallow

While all stealth games are puzzles to some extent, this aspect is particularly visible in the 2D ones. Often, we seen the entire location the moment we enter, and the challenge isn’t in adjusting on the spot to shifting conditions, but to plan ahead and figure out how to proceed.

Sometimes you might even see the guards and traps ahead of time, and you need to figure out how to use whatever abilities the game provides you with to succeed. There might even be elements of platform games sprinkled in, expanding the tactics with a bit of precise athleticism.

Let’s take a look at a few 2D stealth games, then, and see what makes them so cool.

Serial Cleaner 2017-07-14 Action & Shooter iFun4All
Deadbolt 2016-03-14 Action & Shooter Hopoo Games
Monaco Whats Yours Is Mine 2013-04-24 Adventure Pocketwatch Games
Gunpoint 2013-06-03 Indie Suspicious Developments
Planet Of Lana 2023-05-23 Indie Wishfully
Inside 2016-07-07 Adventure Playdead
Mark Of The Ninja 2012-10-16 Adventure Klei Entertainment

Mark of the Ninja

Release date:2012-10-16
Developer:Klei Entertainment

Mark of the Ninja is a masterpiece. As a well-trained ninja you’ll explore exceptionally well-designed side-scrolling levels to complete a series or increasingly complicated missions.

Your toolset includes several useful gadgets, which will help you distract, avoid, and eliminate guards. Sneak through vents, hang from the ceiling, terrorize your enemies… be a shadow. It’s not just one of the best 2D stealth games, it’s one of the best titles in the entire genre.

Key features
  • The Focus ability allows you to slow time and pick your targets carefully
  • You subject to the Line of Sight like your enemies – track them by the sounds they make


Release date:2016-07-07

Inside takes a very different approach to stealth. While in MofN you’re the predator, in Inside you’re pretty much prey.

You’re a child who has to travel a very hostile world where more or less everything wants to kill you and can do it without breaking a sweat. So your best defense is staying out of sight and using diversions. As a result, Inside’s branch of stealth is similar to one from many of the first-person horror games following in Amnesia’s footsteps.

Key features
  • Admittedly, more 2.5D than pure 3D, but the side-scrolling nature makes it viable for this list
  • Stealth (and mild platforming) is your only hope of surviving


Release date:2013-06-03
Developer:Suspicious Developments

Despite its title, Gunpoint is very much a stealth game. It is somewhat similar to Mark of the Inja, but this time you’re a spy who infiltrates various facilities to steal data.

Gunpoint’s main gimmick is that your guy can rewire electronic devices in the buildings, which can make or break your infiltration thanks to cascading effects. For some reason you can also throw yourself and others with great force, giving you an excessive, but welcome mobility. Your tools are simple, but their application is impressive.

Key features
  • Rewiring the levels makes Gunpoint feel a bit like 2D Watch Dogs
  • Trickery and shenanigans are encouraged

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine

Release date:2013-04-24
Developer:Pocketwatch Games

Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine is a game about doing heists.

Unlike the side-scrollers of this minilist, it uses a top-down perspective, which shows the general layout of the venue, but unless you’re playing as the Lookout, you need Line of Sight to see guards and other NPCs. Indeed, not only is Monaco class-based, it also multiplayer-friendly, letting up to four people team up to do crime. Complex levels, different class abilities, and sandboxy nature makes Monaco a fantastic stealth game.

Key features
  • 2D, top-down, class-based stealth game with co-op potential
  • There’s even a story you can playthrough

Serial Cleaner

Release date:2017-07-14
Genre:Action & Shooter

Serial Cleaner puts you in an unenviable role of the dude called to clean the mess after a grisly murder.

Of course, the scene of the crime is crawling with investigators, so you need to stay unseen while also mopping up the floor and taking the body into your car. It’s a great premise, and the top-down perspective coupled with a great aesthetic gives this game a ton of charm you wouldn’t expect from a game about hiding evidence of murder.

Key features
  • The story is set in the 1970s
  • Clean up a murder scene and get away before the investigators spot you

A different perspective

This concludes are quick look at some of the best 2D stealth games which prove the genre doesn’t require immersive camera views to be engaging and challenging. And you need to neither sleuth nor sneak to play them: you can find great digital offers on our Marketplace!