After a tragic accident, neurobiologist Dr. David Styles has become a recluse, rarely leaving his home, the Dread Hill House. One day, Samantha Everett, a street magician, appears at Dr. Style's doorstep just as he is seeking a new assistant.
User reviews: Very Positive (160 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 1, 2014

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Reviews

“This is a gorgeous game and certainly among the best looking in the genre. Lots of beautiful locations and well-designed characters.”
7.5/10 – IGN

“Overall, this is an exceptional game that will grab hold of your senses while you play and put you in a state of immersion that few games can match, much like the very best of its spiritual predecessors.”
90% – RPG Fan

About This Game

After a tragic accident, neurobiologist Dr. David Styles has become a recluse, rarely leaving his home, the Dread Hill House. One day, Samantha Everett, a street magician, appears at Dr. Style's doorstep just as he is seeking a new assistant.

Samantha's first task is to find six people to form “The Lamb's Club” of human guinea pigs for Dr. Style's tests at Oxford University. The experiment starts off innocently enough, but then a chain of inexplicable incidents begin to occur, one after another.

Are these experiments as innocent as they appear? What is the true aim of Dr. Styles' research? What secrets are waiting to cross over from the other side?

In Gray Matter, legendary game author Jane Jensen (creator of the Gabriel Knight series) tackles questions concerning the nature of reality and the power of the human mind in a mystery adventure that comprises 8 massive chapters. Jensen combines the elements of science and the supernatural, together with her acclaimed emphasis on character and story to create an unprecedented paranormal experience that will keep you riveted until the very end.

Features:


  • From legendary game author, Jane Jensen, GRAY MATTER combines the elements of science and the supernatural, together with character and story to create an unprecedented paranormal experience.
  • A dark story told in the gothic novel style in eight epic chapters
  • Play as Dr. Styles and Samantha
  • Innovative gameplay that combines science and the supernatural

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz Processor or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 compatible 256 MB Graphics Card with Shader 2.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
This game has been an absolute delight to play. I must say I am a fan of the adventure-type, point-and-click and puzzle genre, but this one has blown me away. The story is gripping and very immersive, the characters are well thought out and the magic tricks Sam can do to distract people are just brilliant. I started playing and couldn't stop after that and finished the game in one go (depriving me of sleep, but so worth it!).

If you are a fan of the puzzle/point-and-click/adventure game, this is a definite must-have.
I really hope they will make a sequel to this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Gray Matter was a really enjoyable game for how cheap it was - I was so surprised! The voice acting is really well done, the character development is good and every character is unique in their own way, the puzzles can be challenging but in a fun way; they keep you engaged. The story is also really good, especially if you have an interest in the supernatural and the mysteries thereof.

It's longer than most puzzle games - atleast 15+ hours. It has some awesome easter eggs in the game, as well as recreating the area of Oxford in very good detail! For the price steam is asking, there is no reason you shouldn't pick up this game if you like puzzles adventures. It was really well done, and I would play it again.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
This is not a game that's easy to review for me as it's easily the most internally polarizing game I've ever played. It's a game that I both love and hate in equal measure, one that makes the most obvious, horrible mistakes, while still managing to dazzle you with its heart.

The game starts off really well with a beautifully rendered slide-show cutscene that looks as if it were painted by hand. It does a perfect job of setting up a mood and introducing our protagonist, and is immediately followed by a very simple and easy tutorial. It's a tutorial that nearly lies to you though, starting you off with a couple of puzzles, only to then bind you to what comes to be something like two hours of primarily dialogue, wandering about and looking at things.

The game is slow. It's insane how slow it is. The story gives you almost no hooks to catch you with other than the hope that you'll enjoy the characters and the -promise- of a mystery enough to continue. The actual puzzles in the first two chapters are all very simple. The game does a good job of telling you what you need to do in order to progress, and as you figure out the methods, it'll hint towards the means. They're (mostly) well designed and a joy to unlock, but they never quite feel like they're the main focus of the game.

The main focus is the story. It's not a bad story either, it's sweet, it's got its mystery and its build up, but the pacing is glacial. Finishing the first two chapters took me about four hours and in that time I learned extremely little. Yes, you do find out tidbits about both Sam (the protagonist) and Dr. Styles (her employer), but none of it is surprising and none of it carries the shock that the writers seemed to intend. The 'accident' is mentioned very quickly in the game and you're told not to ask people about it (and the game doesn't let you, either), but when it's finally revealed what happened -- it's completely predictable and almost disappointing. A cutscene shows Sam responding to it with shock, surprise, grief and empathy, whereas the player's reaction is more likely that of; "That's it? Really? That's the big reveal?"

Yet, like I said, the story isn't bad. It's just not good. The characters are fine, admittedly even if they feel like they're taken out of a teen romance story, with the orphaned sorta-gothic tough girl acting as the lead, who ends up living with a dark, mysterious and secluded, brooding man with a dark secret and-- yeah. You see where that's going. Along the way she gathers around herself a group of social stereotypes, all of which feel entirely two dimensional. Yet, again, they're not bad. They're entirely likeable even.

Then there's the graphics. Another point that really has me struggling to make a decisive judgement on it. It's gorgeous. Mostly. All the environments you go to are beautifully rendered, clearly handmade with so many little touches. I can only think of a couple of locations where I actually wasn't impressed with what I saw. Some of the locations are straight up amazing, even. Check the screenshots and you'll see exactly what I mean. Yet I did say that they're gorgeous, mostly. Mostly. See, all this amazing art is actually given to you at a surprisingly low resolution. Playing at 1920x1080 I was exposed to gorgeous art that had been muddied by being stretched out across the screen. It felt like such a waste. It's only a 5gb game too, it's heart breaking that they didn't just up the size and add higher resolution backgrounds.

This is then combined with another good & bad, the character models. They actually look just fine. The resolution is high enough and the details are good enough. The lighting in the scene illuminates them well and the shadows are actually rather pretty. Yet despite this, the fact that you have a high resolution 3D character in a lower resolution environment causes them to pop out horrendously. Not a single character in the game ever looks like they're a part of the world they live in. You're constantly reminded by how the world is nothing but a 2D plane. To make matters worse is that every once in a while the models are given idle animations that are way, way too exaggerated. One scene has the American sitting on the grass, constantly going between leaning back and sitting forward, with him kicking his leg into the air in between. As the conversation goes, he'll do this constantly.

Another up and down is the voice acting. The voice actors themselves were very likeable. Their voices fit their roles and they did their lines well. The downside is that this game is stuck with the ye olde adventure game type of talking. It's the kind where as they talk, a box of subtitles pop up. Once the character has finished speaking those lines, they stop. The subtitles go away and a new box opens. Then the character continues. Every time this happens there's this weird and awkward pause that completely snaps you out of it, and really shouldn't be happening in a modern game like this. Conversations should be fluid, especially with such a lovely cast; people should actually talk like they're talking to each other. Not like they're by themselves and reading subtitle boxes one at a time.

So what's the verdict? Honestly, despite everything, I want to like this game. I do. Every part of it just shines with heart and effort. You can tell that on every front, the developer put their heart and soul into the game. They worked -hard- on it, and that fact gives it so much charm and likeability. This shows best in the art I believe, but also in the puzzles themselves. They're rather simple, I admit, but they're a joy to solve. They're fun! I wish the game had more of them, a LOT more. It's fantastic to chase after Daedalus clues! It's equally fun to flip through the book of magic tricks to apply them to a situation, then map out the choreography. Simple, yes. Easy, yes. But fun. Charming, clever and full of character.

So I really believe I can suggest this game to people that enjoy adventure games. If you're okay with slow pacing, if you enjoy an easy story and you'd rather have fun puzzles instead of difficult ones, this is a game I can recommend to you. Like I said, this game is a labour of love and I want to see more from the talent behind it. :]
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
For people who like point and click puzzle games and nice artwork to look at this is a really fun game. The storyline is interesting, although there are a couple of places wher eI felt the plot was forced along. I initially had trouble with the cut scene videos playing smoothly, but that evened out after a computer restart. In all honesty, this game was a 9 out of 10 for me.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
Old school point-and-click game with a context of magic and paranormal activity.

The game is played through two main characters, much like in the Gabriel Knight series, also created by Jane Jensen. The gameplay is known for most: pointing, clicking and discussing all the way. This works of course as well as it should and there wasn't much to complain about. The story is divided into chapters each having its own puzzles and goals. The puzzles are relatively clear and not too difficult. Compared to the Gabriel Knight series, this game involves also a fair share of fantasy elements and nods to mythology, which suits the story just fine. However, as a negative side note, the game is not too long and the story seems leave a couple loose plot lines unresolved. Maybe there was a sequel planned, which never came about?

All in all, this is a good game with nice features for those wanting to solve yet one more mystery through excessive molesting of the mouse. However, the game is not the best in its genre, missing a few unforgettable moments.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
A solid adventure with quite an interesting protagonist. Fans of Jane Jensen's earlier games (Gabriel Knight, i.e.) should take a look. I enjoyed playing it, although I've been highly annoyed by the final part of the game. It felt like a dumb treadmill, with puzzles being pretty much unrelated to the rest of the game. The game wouldn't have needed that artifical time stretcher, quite the contrary.

If you're searching for a decent, albeit somewhat old fashioned adventure, go get it. Just don't expect to be blown away by cinemtatics or eye candy effects.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
A very interesting game, full of details and a great soundtrack. I've spent a lot of time enjoying and playing the game. It's hard to find a good point and click with a nice story and so on... I think this game was amazing! The story and dialogues are easy and well built, I don't regret even a bit buying and playing. :)
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
I love point-and-click adventure games and have played loads, and Gray Matter is now one of my most favorites. That's not to say it's perfect though, but it's defintiely one of the best.

9/10

Pros:
- beautiful art
- great music
- a well-done and interesting story, if a bit cliche and cheesy (in an addictive I-have-to-know-what-happens-next sort of way)
- a unique and fun gameplay mechanic with magic tricks, which had me wishing I could do more with it (hoping that if there's a sequel they expand and enhance this feature! it was a lot of fun). I've never played, or heard of, a game featuring a magician (as in, a stage magician, where the magic isn't really magic) and it felt different and exciting and was a lot more fun than I expected!
- the puzzles feel intuitive and fun but still provide a challenge. I really, really like the implementation of highlighting locations depending on what can/has been completed there. The progress list was also very helpful for the once or twice when I would get stuck and not know what to do, and be able to suss it out based on what my progress list said was only partially completed.

Cons:
- the quality of the voice acting varies, and took me out of the game a few times when it made me go "huh?". Occasionally a character said something in an odd inflection or with no emotion. It reminded me a lot of Cole Phelps interviewing people in LA Noire, where his reactions didn't always fit the technique choices of 'truth', 'doubt', and 'lie'.
- the animations surprised me by being lower quality than expected. I've recently replayed The Longest Journey, a game that came out in 1999, and Gray Matter's animations reminded me a lot of TLJ. I guess the screen shots made my expectations higher? Certainly not awful, but not what I expected from a game in 2014.
- I experience no bugs/glitches EXCEPT one that effectively prevented me from continuing the game, forcing me to reload a save from hours earlier. I recommend making at 2-3 saves per chapter and keeping them, just in case. This was the only time I was forced to consult walkthroughs, in order to try to figure out what went wrong. Eventually determined it was not necessarily due to me but something just went wrong in the game... I suspect I did something in an odd/unexpected order and messed something, a la King's Quest. Don't expect this to be something that happens often though, as when I looked into it it seemed like a rare problem (but it's still a problem that exists, and a big one at that).


I got the game on sale for ~$3 and felt like I got way more than my monies worth, honestly. Even with what I consider to be 'cons', I'd have happily paid the full price for the game and am recommending it to my friends. I really hope there's a sequel someday!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
A lot of fun! Kept my attention all the way to the end, and the ending was so much fun. The use of magic was a treat too!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Gray Matter is a classic point-and-click adventure game. It is aplyed from the third person POV and the player controls a female character.
Well, the story is great and charming - you have a magic protegonist and it seems oh-so-lovely that she can do these tricks. However, do not get attached to the simplicity of illusions. Things will get pretty undergound when you get to the later plot twists.
The general positives of this game are the classic P&C-ness, the dialogue and of course, the magic.

If you're not into slow, P&C games, then this one is not for you. Another thing that I personally find as a negative side is that sometimes you need to visit a specific place so that the story can continue. This is abit off, but oh well.

Generally, this is one of the top P&C quest games I know.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
26.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
+ Lovely artwork and graphic design
+ Very touching story and character development
+ Great music and voice acting
+ very nice ending
+ and no bugs!

Thank you Jane Jensen - this was awesome!
I definitely need to have a look at Gabriel Knight now.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Just Brilliant ! A true point n' click gem!
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90 of 95 people (95%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 2, 2014
One of the best adventure games i have played, and I’ve played a lot of them.

The story is really great and keeps you playing. Characters are deep and well though-out.

The Music is phenomenal, very climatic and gives really a lot to the game. One of the best soundtracks I’ve listened to.

If you like old-school adventure games this is your jam (and who am I kidding. If you like the genre you probably played it a ton already)
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59 of 63 people (94%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 2, 2014
This adventure game signed the legendary Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight series) was Jane's first since parting ways with Sierra. It had a long and troubled development over many years but the end result is VERY good. And now it's finally avalible on Steam.

Weaving one of her signature stories that blends the paranormal with the contemporary, in this case neurobiology and the unused potential in the human mind. When street magician Samantha "Sam" Everett gets waylaid by a broken motorcycle on her way to London and in need of shelter and money decides to pose as the new assisstant for the reclusive neurobiology researcher Dr. David Styles in his gothic mansion outside Oxford. Pretty soon strange events are afoot and you play as both Samantha and Dr. Styles to try and get to the bottom of it.

The game offers interesting puzzles of varying difficulty, especially when Sam has to use her street magic to manipulate people and objects to progress. The soundtrack by Robert Holmes is gothic and hauntingly beautiful, especially the songs by The Scarlet Furies. They really helps to set the mood of the story.

If adventure games and good stories are your thing, this one is an instant buy. I don't think you'll regret it.
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32 of 33 people (97%) found this review helpful
100.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 20, 2014
Recommended for anyone who likes adventure games for their story, settings, and characters. If you're a fan of magic (as in magic tricks), then this is also a special treat.

This title is made by Jane Jensen of Gabriel Knight fame from the "golden age" of adventure games. As far as writing a compelling adventure game, she knows what's doing.

Technically, there are some issues, and lack of polish in places reflects the limited development budget. But all this is forgivable, I think.

Mentioned in the description, but not shown in the screenshots (probably rightfully so, to avoid spoilers), the chapters actually alternate between two playable characters. This ability to play "two sides" of the story is a major feature of Gray Matter.

This isn't a puzzle oriented game. You won't be stuck hunting pixels. Progress is mostly straightforward. Each chapter has several main tasks you need to accomplish that are sometimes dependent, but sometimes allow you to explore in an order of your choosing. Note that sometimes the game expects you to arrive at a particular location to progress (this confused me twice).

Be warned that the game starts off somewhat slowly in the first few chapters, but gradually picks up pace. Stick with it until at least the third chapter before deciding to give it up.
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29 of 32 people (91%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Cerebral challenges with a spunky protagonist

The Good:
* Locations are exquisitely drawn
* Decent but sometimes underwhelming voice acting
* Good inventory system that does take getting used to
* Performing magic is a neat idea
* Story is a slow burn but worth sticking with
* Progress indicators on map really helps
* Characters feel real and act/react realistically

The Bad:
* Pace is really slow, don't expect Monkey Island progress
* The magic & other interfaces are clunky and confusing
* The talking head models are oddly unsettling
* The sheer amount of locations and options can overwhelm
* Characters often don't look like they are in the scene
* Some dialogue is unskipable
* Serious bug in chapter 6, requires you save often
* Conclusion is unsurprising if you've paid attention

Background: Seen it come up in bundles, finally scored a copy. Completed the game (12 hours).

Impressions: An innovative twist on the PnC genre with a compelling character, ideas and a decent paranormal mystery story. Clunky interface choices that make it hard to know how to interact and perform tricks. I enjoyed the game and liked the artwork which reminded me of J.M. Linsner at times. The plot is a slow burn that demands patience but is rewarding as you progress. It's hard to recommend for everyone as it's target audience is somewhat narrow but what it goes for it mostly achieves.

Recommended for: Paranormal fantasy book readers and those with patience and in for the longhaul.

Conclusion: 7/10. A very solid and rewarding effort thats not everyone will love.
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28 of 32 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 6, 2014
9/10

+ modern point and click adventure game, with nice presentation and incredible soundrack
+ fantastic writing, great dialogues and good voice acting, very deep , dark at times mystery story about neurobiology and the possibilities of the brain as well as magic
+ likable protagonist, great npcs, dr.styler a very well thought character with dark secrets
+ classic point and click gameplay, with the interesting addition of magic, where you have to play a sort of mini game when using magic according to each cirmstance, you have to read the manual (ingame manual) and experiment a lot in this department, it can become frustrating at times, but also very satisfying when you figure out how to use it
+ excellent score system where you track your progress in each chapter

- a bit stiff animations

+/- pressing space reveals all hotspots in a scene, they could skip that since it ruins the exploration, some casual players might find it very usefull though, since the game can become difficult at times

have played it retail and finished it once, now i repeat it on steam, it's imo one of the greatest modern adventure games and i recommend it to all adventure gamers on steam.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
Strange things are happening in Oxford, England. Someone appears to be playing dangerous pranks on people but witnesses are baffled as to how they are done and nobody knows who the culprit is. You play as Samantha Everett, a skeptical magician who has decided to get to the bottom of it. Also trying to solve the mystery is Dr. David Styles, a reclusive neuroscientist who is conducting experiments on psychic phenomena.

The story is well-written and I got hooked in early. I managed to complete the game's 8 chapters within a few days, which is quite rare for me when it comes to point-and-click adventure games. Though I'm not surprised since the story was written by Jane Jensen, the same writer for the 90s Gabriel Knight adventure games.

The game features lovely pre-rendered artwork (very wallpaper worthy). In fact I loved discovering new locations just to see what pretty artwork the game's artists had created.

The soundtrack was composed by Robert Holmes, the same composer for the Gabriel Knight games, and it really helped immerse me into the the gothic environments within the game.

I'd recommend this game to fans of point-and-click adventure games, especially those who enjoyed the earlier Gabriel Knight games.

One thing to note is that you need to Restart your PC if you're using Windows 8+ after installing. Otherwise the game will not be installed properly and run very, very slowly!
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 6, 2014
A funny little gem of the post-Golden-Age of adventure games, Gray Matter possesses both humble charm and quaint nostalgia. Like its author's previous game, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, the story of Gray Matter revolves around the supernatural. A young American street magician traveling Europe chances upon Oxford hermit Dr. David Styles, whose mysterious nature and odd experiments cultivate an air of mystery.

TLDR; It's classic Sierra gameplay with a facelift and a few extra tricks. Like its ancestors, Gray Matter suffers from occasionally obscure solution and a few glitches. Don't expect miracles, but do expect magic... get it? MAGIC. Like in the game. This game. Samantha does magic. Okay, forget it.
Good:

-- Solid atmosphere, great writing, and an intruiging story all make Gray Matter a cerebral experience.

-- Though it boasts dated graphics, the engine holds up well enough. I rarely felt it inadequate, and sometimes it was quite attractive.

-- Most of the puzzles, while not particularly difficult, are satisfying.

Bad:

-- Some of the voiceacting is either uninspired or poorly timed.

-- A few of the puzzles are TOO easy and simply feel like busywork (Example: Samantha needs to steal a key, so she decides to employ a magic trick that requires another item. Sam goes to the magic shop, purchases the item, and performs the trick at the former location. However, the trick fails; mind you, this is scripted. Now she needs to purchase ANOTHER item from the same magick shoppe to perform a second trick to distract someone, which involves backtracking again.)

-- The music can get pretty repetitive. As in, you will probably feel the urge to turn it off after an hour.

Overall, Gray Matter offers a fun, engaging experience that will feel familiar to adventure game veterans. It's a great game for newcomers, too, since its puzzles aren't quite the non-sequiturs of yore; still, its approach to adventure is satisfying because Gray Matter's writing is so very apt.

7.8/10
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 5, 2014
I own all Gabriel Knight games as well as the books and I'm so glad this game is finally available on steam.
I have finished this game before but I didn't hesitate one second to buy it when I saw it on the frontpage of the steam store.

When I was younger I got a demo of one of the Gabriel Knight games from a PC magazine I had a subscription to and played it over and over and a few years later It hit me that I had to get the games I discovered when I was younger since they have always been in the back of my mind.

Gray Matter brings back all the feelings from the early point and click games, and it truly is one of the best of its genre.
If you are interested in puzzle solving adventures with great storylines this really is a game for you and for its price it would be foolish not to give it a go.
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