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Stealth-Based Game
Hiding from your enemies? That's not a game!
— Anecdotal response to Hideo Kojima's original proposal for the original Metal Gear

In most video games, the player's character is powerful enough to mow down enemies left and right. They don't have to worry about setting alarms off, or enemy reinforcements being summoned (true, there are occasionally levels where you have to be a bit careful, but those are specifically scripted).

In a Stealth-Based Game, the player's character is simply too weak to survive a head to head confrontation with his enemies most of the time. Either it's too easy to die, you can't carry enough ammo, or there is some other reason. Just running away from enemies like in Pac-Man isn't enough to count as a stealth-based game; you need to be actively hiding from them.

Whatever it is though, they've got to be careful, stick to the shadows, kill silently, and only when necessary. And they better hide the bodies well because someone is going to stumble over them otherwise.

The different types of stealth used can be broken up as such, though many are often hybrids.
  • Line-of-sight breaking: Horizontally or vertically, stay out of view.
  • Moving through shadows: Avoiding the light, creating darkness to move through.
  • Hidden in plain sight: As part of the crowd or as part of the scenery.

Games in this genre may feature Optional Stealth, where playing it stealthily is encouraged but not strictly necessary.

For gameplay of this sort in other Videogame Genres, see Stealth-Based Mission.

Games in this genre:


So Much for StealthStealth TropesStealth Clothes
Stat DeathOlder Than the NESStealth-Based Mission
Sports GameVideo Game GenresStrategy Game

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