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 (75 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 1, 2014

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Recent updates View all (3)

September 8

Trading Cards are now live!

Dear Players,

I am happy to announce that we now have Steam trading cards for this game! Some of you have already seen this but for those that did not know, now it does! Enjoy this feature that you requested and as always you, the gamer are always 100% awesome

Happy Gaming and thanks for being our fan at Viva Media / Encore Software!

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May 9

Windows 8 /8.1 - Updated link for the fix

Dear Players,

It has come to my attention from another player on here that the link we have provided in order to make the the run on Windows 8 / 8.1 is broken.

Please use Microsoft's official link here in order to install the Direct X runtime which will allow Gray Matter to run.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35

Thank You ,

Jason Carver
Community Support at Encore Software.

1 comments Read more

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
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
One of the best point-and-click adventure games I've ever played.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
It was so nice to have found out about this game and played it through. It's been awhile since the true meaning of "adventure game" came out like this one. I understand why this game has been reciving such high reviews.

I really liked the main character, Sam and her magic. It was really cool to actually perform some magic in the game too.
The game starts off with somewhat unnerving movie, then sure enough, I, Sam had to go into that old looking mansion where creepy Professor Styles resides...

Some of the puzzles were challenging, especially at the "the game of life". It was little confusing to me but I guess one will surely need to put on your thinking cap on here.

If you are true fan of Adventure games, then this is it!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
A solid point and click adventure from Jane Jensen. It's no "Gabriel Knight", but "Gray Matter" has a unique story with good pacing. Jane Jensen's story telling as well as the introduction of a magic system help the game stand out. Good voice acting and a good looking art style help to round out the game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
fans of gabriel knight should check this out
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
I absolutely loved this game. The characters were engaging and exactly what I'd expect from a point and click adventure game, the puzzles were new and inventive and I particularly liked the magic trick interface. The only problem I have with this game is that there is not a Gray Matter 2. Why? I am now at a loss and have been since the credits rolled!
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14.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
I picked up this game both because I like paranormal stories, and because the game author came highly recommended. I was expecting to be blown away, but although the game was good, I don't think it entirely lives up to the hype.

The thing that bugged me most of all was actually the writing. Much of the dialogue, especially Samantha's, felt choppy and flippant. I didn't really get a sense of personality from her other than "generic upstart teenager with delusions of grandeur." I also didn't like that her character talked big about her "magician's code," and then wantonly broke it at every opportunity for her own personal gain (although maybe that was intentional to show her immaturity).

Beyond her character, I was let down by the overly predictable plot. The premise of the story is solid, and blends together a number of canon paranormal and horror themes, but the way it unfolded left me disappointed. It is frustrating as a player to so easily figure out what the ending is going to be, but then have to watch your character blindly ignore the clues and run around circles for hours. I also felt that the ending was entirely avoidable, and the tragedy was shoe-horned in for emotional effect.

Despite these issues, the other aspects of the game are top notch:
- There is a unique cast of well-developed side characters that have interesting backgrounds and talented voice actors.
- The puzzles are creative and varied, with the magic tricks bringing an innovative and novel twist to the genre. Even veteran adventure gamers will find it both challenging and refreshing.
- The art and cutscenes are beautifully rendered, with a blend of hand-painted flashbacks and 3D CGI. I also appreciated the thematic touches of magic and fantasy that were woven throughout.
- There is a good mixture of seriousness and humor within the overall suspenseful atmosphere.
- The colour-coded map system is a nice gameplay feature, allowing you to instantly teleport to various location hubs, and informing you of where you still have available actions.
- There are several hidden bonus quests and actions which add flavour and depth to the story. (Although I was sad that there is no in-game reward for 100% completion, nor are there any Steam achievements. An alternate ending might have been nice.)

Overall, I would give this game an 8.5/10
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12.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
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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15.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
A very compelling and intriguing premise combined with interesting gameplay and characters, I was hooked throughout. Highlights are the strong story and the urgency for me to find out what happened next! The visual style adopted in the cutscenes really add to the sense of mystery and drama that unfolds, as well as the unnerving events and atmosphere created. The soundtrack is beautiful, never overwhelming but always fitting the moods as you go exploring deeper into the plot. Robert Holmes did an amazing job.

My only gripe is the final parts, it felt a bit rushed and inconclusive. But I've heard rumors of a sequel so maybe it will be resolved then. Nevertheless, it's a solid title that I absolutely adored.
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11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
An enjoyable story, with minor puzzles

I find point and click adventures to be generally enjoyable, but the older I get the more interest I have in the story they tell than the puzzles.

So when I finally started playing Gray Matter, which I received for very cheap as part of a bundle, my main focus was on the story. Having now put almost 12 hours into it (having let the game run a bit, it was probably closer to 11), I have to say I ultimately enjoyed the game, and might seek out more of Jane Jensen's works (a writer on the game).

The game follows Sam/Samantha as she interacts with David and the other characters we meet. As she is a magician, the puzzles mostly involve her performing tricks or solving puzzles as she gets closer to her goal of becoming a master magician. However, the focus of the game is not on the tricks, but rather the story.

There are some interesting twists as the story progresses, and it had me shivering in a few spots. I definitely recommend this game if you're looking for an interesting story, and have at least a passing enjoyment of point and click adventures.

Gray Matter gets 4 of 5 stars, only because of very slight control issues in a handful of scenes.
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25 of 25 people (100%) found this review helpful
100.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
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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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
I have played as many adventure / point-and-click games as I could get my hands to in this life and this is definitely one of my favorites. The truth is that it doesn't really have challenging puzzles at all; they are all pretty simple and even I could say lame. However, I loved it, for the following reasons:
- The artwork. It seduced me from the very beginning. The videos seem to be a sequence of oil paintings, beautifully done, starting with the protagonist. The whole atmosphere is a work of art.
- The story. It was cool and original, even though it had a couple of cheesy moments. If I heard Dr. Styles saying "Laura" one more time, I would have snapped, and it is my name!
- The music! I want the soundtrack!
- The lack of illogical "inventory-based puzzles", which is usual in adventure games and forces you to pixel-hunt the entire screen, looking for items that make no sense, until you need to combine a baby rattle with a crystal glass and pepper spray to open a door. Not here. Even though it could have used more challenging puzzles overall, I am glad that the usual nonsense of other games wasn't present here.
- Well, I guess this is kind of a spoiler... Including magic tricks was, for me, very cool.

Now, on the downside, besides the lack of challenging puzzles I could mention that the story, cool as I found it, has a couple of "holes". There were, particularly close to the end, a couple of things that didn't make any sense and that weren't explained. But, in general, I loved this game and I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys artistic / story-based adventure games.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
It's hard to explain how this game totally pulls you into its world in the way that only classic adventure games can. Its strengths are beautiful backgrounds and objects, well-developed characters, and a great mystery story that keeps you guessing until the very end. There aren't many puzzles that will stump you; the focus is on exploring this fictional Oxford and discovering the next part of the story. Sam, the protagonist, can use magic tricks to manipulate people, but this mechanic doesn't let you be as creative as I first imagined; you just choose tricks from a book and execute them according to the instructions. Still, it's a nice way to continue the themes of the game--illusion, deception, and magic--into the point-and-click gameplay.

Now that I've finished the game, I find myself really missing the atmosphere and the characters. (FYI, one character is a bit of a "funny Jewish guy" stereotype, and the main romance in the game isn't developed at all, but these are small complaints.) The voice acting is solid; the soundtrack is great; the animations leave a bit to be desired, but the still art is fantastic. The game is broken up into chapters, and two chapters equal one in-game day: first you play in the morning as Sam, then in the afternoon as Dr. Styles, another neat feature.

Overall, Gray Matter is definitely worth purchasing for anyone who likes the sound of adventure-game-meets-graphic-novel. It has some of the best writing of any modern game, and boasts a surprisingly complex plot that takes time to unravel. Lots of buried clues and rewards for an observant player. I was surprised to find that this game hasn't reached a more general audience, because it's fantastic. Both sad and funny at times (sometimes unintentionally funny), it's also a great experience to share with a friend.

P.S. I ran into a bug where cutscenes at the end of the game kept repeating, but was able to choose "skip scene" in options to overcome this.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
From acclaimed adventure writer Jane Jenson of Gabriel Knight fame, comes her first point and click game since her Sierra days. It was worth the wait.

You play as Sam Everett, a struggling yet talented young American magician, who seeks to join the mysterious Daedalus Club, an exclusive magicians’ society. On the way to London, her bike breaks down and she takes refuge in a beautiful gothic mansion, pretending to be an Oxford student sent to assist the mansion’s resident, Dr David Styles, a physically and emotionally scarred neurobiologist who is in deep mourning over the loss of his wife from a tragic accident.
The game has eight chapters in which you will alternate between Sam and Dr Styles perspectives as they try to unravel the mysterious and spooky events that are going on in and around Oxford. The story is, for the most part, really interesting and the core mystery keeps you guessing. Unfortunately, the final chapter, while full of the more interesting puzzles that are on offer throughout the game, offers an unsatisfying and rushed conclusion that leaves several questions unanswered.

The voice acting is well done, especially from the main protagonists Sam and Dr Styles. So too from the supporting characters with the exception of the bit part characters who are laughably bad.

The gameplay is a classic point and click experience. You look for information and clues for the situation at hand and search for items that will later come in handy for solving a puzzle as well as talking to a host of colourful characters. The puzzles, for the most part, are logical and well tuned and, bar a few, overall not too complicated to solve. I felt the difficulty was just right and left me with a sense of satisfaction after having worked them out.

Graphically the game is beautiful. The pre-rendered backgrounds make all the locations in the game gorgeous, the character models are not too shabby either being fairly detailed and the hand drawn animated cutscenes are just as attractive as the in game visuals.
The music too, is beautiful, I cannot stop listening to the soundtrack. It fits in with the game's mysterious and haunting theme perfectly.

Overall this is a wonderful point and click adventure and I highly recommend you play this, especially if you love adventure games.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
This game was everything games are supposed to be. I was drawn in be the art style, the music, and the pleasant usable interface. Then I began to realize the depth of the story. The characters are all multifaceted and interesting. The painstakingly designed and rendered scenery suggests a deep familiarity with the area and makes me curious about the inspiration for the story. Oxford was never on my list of places to visit but after that glimpse it may well be. The detailed backstory available in the game was interesting and educational.

The puzzles were really good, not being entirely apparent but always with ample clues if you read things. I did find that I wound up using the area hotspots more often than not as i was too interested in the story and the puzzles to worry about playing pixel hunts but a couple of times I was dissapointed that I had as there are some cleverly hidden zones that would have caused me some enjoyable frustration. The idea of Samantha's magic tricks was a really novel presentation and seemed to add some extra dimension to the adventure. In general none of the puzzles weren't overly routine but the fresh feel of it and the great detail helped anytime it was too obvious.

I'd also like to give this game a nod for making some efforts to offer some positive messages through the actions and choices (or refusals) of the protagonist. It's refreshing to see good values and health being given a positive light in gaming. Not to get on a soapbox and wave my cane or anything...

It was a very moving and immersive game with a well written if extensively foreshadowed story.
You probably wouldn't like it. I really did.

Thanks for making this. I'm looking forward to future works.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
I really really enjoyed this game. Sure the characters movements were annnoying at times. However I really loved the story and also really liked David and Samantha. The puzzles were okay, not very easy but not too hard either. I would recommend this game. I had a few very enjoyable hours with this game and was actually sad when it ended.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
This was a wonderful game for me. I recommend this to anyone who likes puzzle and or visual novels.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
Gray Matter manages to be a brilliant breath of fresh air while remaining a traditional point & click adventure with old-school appeal. Little to be said here that every other reviewer hasn't allready said: an original, modern story, fantastic writing, beautiful art, interesting and original puzzles, great music, great voice acting, this game does everything right. Jane Jensen knows her craft, it's great to have her back at it. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
Great game with a good story, gorgeous and detailed locations, strong and interesting (and very likable) characters. Nice and logical puzzles. Great 12 hours gameplay (according to savegame slot). Recommend to every fan of adventures or fan of Jane Jensen.
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1 of 25 people (4%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 23
Crap game with stupid annoying puzzles that leave you dumbdounded ex: the crappy Phone booth numbers puzzle in chapter 2.
Character are bland and worthless inlcuding the main character who has a very irritation voice and style.
Overall 3/10 Don't buy.
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