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:
Overall:
Very Positive (286 reviews) - 91% of the 286 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 1, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Gray Matter

 

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
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (286 reviews)
Recently Posted
Hap
( 16.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
A nice mystery and well chosen setting for a truly enjoyable adventure game highlighted by some great soundtrack and artworks.

Despite its slow rythm and, IMO, uninteresting and really easy puzzles the story unfolds and keeps you sufficiently curious for more.

Overall, a highly recommandable point & click.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
honeycat555
( 22.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
i just LOVED this game, and took my sweet time playing it! i didnt want it to end. Played perfectly on windows 10 upgrade. Its a shame there is no second installment, it really is a beautiful game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Diego
( 11.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 16
I Love the Puzzles and the riddles in this game, they are very carefully designed to make you immersed into the game, the story kept me on the edge of my seat because you kinda feel you are the main character, i would love to see a second version of this game and more people buying it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
turtleninja
( 10.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 8
I will admit that I was expecting this game to be the one I buy on sale, play once, and leave to gather dust in my Steam library. My standards weren't very high and I hadn't heard of the developer before.

I have never been more wrong in my life.

The storyline is incredible, the graphics are damn good for a point & click game and the voice acting is pretty believeable. I was hooked within the first five minutes of gameplay. I love how you don't stay as one character and you are kept in suspense during the entire game. Buy this game; you will not regret it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Majestic 12
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 6
This game is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The story is good and the graphics are great so it should make for a great adventure game, shouldn't it? Well ... the game has quite a lot of small annoyances. For a start, the game feels very static - as beautiful as the backdrops are, it all feels rather disconnected as if you're walking through a painting.

The music is great and in the same style of that of previous Jane Jensen games (Gabriel Knight anyone?) but despite this, this is the first Jensen adventure game where I didn't really feel part of the world. Perhaps the mix of 3D and drawn backdrops is the reason.

But, the biggest problem this game has, are the controls. I wondered why they're so clunky compared to the MUCH better controls used in the Gabriel Knight games so I checked to see if it had gotten a console release and guess what? It did. Once again the console version caused the controls of a PC version to go down the drain ... . The inventory is a fiddly mess - move a little bit too much downwards and it will close and clicking & dragging doesn't exist anymore.

On the plus side, the magic tricks do add a unique layer to the game. On the negative side ... they're needlessly fiddly as well. Most of the times you know exactly what needs to be the done but the game makes you go through all the little steps anyway.

All in all, this is a solid adventure game with a poor UI and some other smaller flaws. Recommended but with reservations.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Javacat
( 15.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
Didn't know anything about this game when I started playing it, came with some bundle ages ago. Extremely presently surprised with this.
The graphics are pretty good, the music/audio is good with decent voice acting and I didn't notice any bugs. The story is great, kept me interested all the way through and I often didn't want to stop playing it when I needed to.

There are a few small issues but they are pretty picky. First, I'm not sure if any of the developers have actually been to England as there were a few odd things, such as steam vents in Oxford and pricing written as 3£ rather than £3 in the background.
There were also a few times where a cutscene would end and I didn't have a clue what I was meant to be doing next. After exploring a bit I soon worked it out though.

If you're in to adventure games then I would recommend this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mizuki_hakurashi
( 20.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
I absolutly enjoyed this game. I loved the idea of placing the object in certain positions in order to get them to play correctly when you trick your victims. The story line and artwork were beautiful and just left me wanting more. I highly recommend this game to those who love adventure, point-and-click, a bit of mystery and puzzles.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
tomtom
( 13.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 29
Excellent mystery advenure game laced with a hint of paranormal. Strong writing penned by Jane Jensen. The experience is slightly marred by arcane 3D models and animation which would not have been great even even 10 years ago. Despite some minor flaws, a must buy for all adventure games fans.

The good:
Strong writing that keeps player entertained throughout the entire experience
Interesting magic puzzle mechanics
Nicely rendered backrounds blended seamlessly with wonderfully done 2D art and cutscenes.
Suggestive voiceover and decent music

The bad:
Character models are very dated with animation that is sometimes almost painful to watch. Character portraits that pop up during conversations look like they all had "egg" shaped head as a base model to which different noses, eyes and hair had been plastered into later (think kinda mid 90's fallout style). Full sized models you otherwise interact with resemble these potato men portraits only if you crank up your imagination to the point where you start seeing a white rabbit with a golden watch popping up from under random furniture in your house.
Puzzle design has some rough spots here and there. On several occasions you can come accross objects which you cannot pickup before having perfomed a number of unrelated tasks, forcing a player to back-track for no apparent reason.
Some of the bonus objectives feel pointless and combined with the technical issues mentioned above bear a feeling of project lead used to large budget realizing half-way through production that the actual budget is too small for the projects ambition.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
privatejoh
( 28.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 27
Surprisingly good and entretaining.

Recomended.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
frogie_dancer
( 17.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
I just finished playing it and I like it. I like the storyline, how the game played from two different point of view. We are made to guess all along what direction the story will goes.
It's one of Jane Jensen's game, for those who like classic point-and-click adventure game must know that name. So, no wonder the game's storyline is good.
There is a bit of a glitch on the characters walking where sometimes they can turn back and turn around before walking in the pointed direction, but it's minor and, for me, didn't take away the enjoy of playing the game.
The soundtrack is good, the voice acting is perfect, not to mention none of the characters is annoying I-want-to-strangle-them type.
All in all a good game. I wish it could be longer so just I can explore more around oxford pulling magic trick in every corner.

One thing I just remember, there is one thing that made me cringe. Please, please do not teach people to hold rabbits by their ears. It's animal cruelty >.<
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
90 of 95 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
59 of 63 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
56 of 62 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Brightened eyes, my secrets lie not far away
His medals and his badges are all dull by day
Many have I an answered plea, my general now I'll often see
He comes at dawn, out on the lawn, in quiet steps
With darkened eyes and wounds that bled, have pillow for his weary head
He lays his body down to rest, among the dogs and gathered nest*


During the earlier years of my adventure gaming career, I had the chance of playing Gabriel Knight series; a masterpiece of the adventure genre. I was stunned by the narrative quality, atmosphere design and character depth; yearning for more as it comes. Sadly, after the third game, there was radio silence from the creator of Gabriel: Jane Jensen, the novelist and game designer extraordinaire. After years of suffering that silence, Jane Jensen returns to create Gray Matter, a wondrous stand-alone adventure game with a captivating world of its own: a modern folktale.

During a hellish storm in the middle of the night, riding on an old motorbike towards London, we meet Samantha Everett. She is a brilliant young woman who's been on the road for quite a while, travelling the cities of Old World, collecting tricks and illusions, aspiring to become a great magician one day. As the fickle finger of fate turns the road sign during the storm, Samantha ends in Dread Hill House, an old mansion that resides on the south of Thames Valley, Oxford. The accursed bike gets busted, and without much hope for any other shelter for the night, Samantha rings the doorbell and introduces herself as the new "assistant" that Dr. David Styles, world renowned neurobiologist and the master of the household's been expecting for. From that point onwards Samantha will find herself in a web of mystery, distrust and intrigue, building lies big and small to protect David, as David will become frustratingly trapped within the events of old that's been haunting him. Is there a light at the end of this tunnel for them?

Gray Matter is a story of mystery with incredible character design and story depth, melting science and magic within the same pot as an expertise of Jane Jensen. There is a vague two-ways transition between the real and the illusory in the tale, making you question what would be mere trickery, what would be rationally explainable and what would be... actual magic, perhaps. Such masquerade is the direct subtext of the name of the game, aside a component of the central nervous system if you ask me. We have no idea what it is, or better: we have many ideas without solid answers. Such is the beauty settled in this mystery.

The display of anecdotes borrowed from folktales and mythologies of the world brought together to present a lovely environment design, illustrated with a selection of haughtily beautiful artwork. The places reimagined within the game carry real life ties and authenticity, bringing in wondrous historical details to your attention in every turn. Characters are unique, charming and quirky in their own way - and with marvelous voice acting, I must say - making you warm up to them faster than you'd realize. At the end of the first chapter, I guarantee that you'll get captivated by the story, the design and characters, pushing yourself to see more of them.

The gameplay is basically your old school adventure. You explore the environment and interact with people, locations and items. But I must warn you: there is no hand holding. You will encounter riddles, puzzles and logic tricks, expecting you to think outside of the box. When you are playing this game, keep in mind the kind of relative reality used in Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. The simplest answer, hidden behind a heavy curtain of misdirection will always be your friend. As Sam being a magician, you will sometimes be expected to pull of magic tricks to bend the events towards your favor. For that purpose, you'll be given a magic interface for you to plan the steps of your trick. You will also be given the opportunity to play as David from time to time, learning more about him as you play. The map is fully interactive with action indicators and there are also some bonus actions you may take in each chapter to reveal a bit more as you play.

Gray Matter is an adventure game done right: challenging, intriguing, empathic and immersive. My only complaint would be that there are no Steam achievements yet. But there really is a suitable substructure of the game for achievements already, so I hope we can see them here around one of these days. This is a hidden gem that both adventure gamers, and anyone with an appreciation for either art or narrative building would love.

Because he's safe in arms now, what luck have I that I should see
Safe in arms now, my bloody boy returned to me
From Jericho back home to me...*


*Lyrics by The Scarlet Furies - Safe In Arms, from Gray Matter the Game soundtrack

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 35 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 33 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 33 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.9 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 28 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
17.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2015
Now where do I begin this review... I personally very much like this game.

Pros:
- Interesting character development
- Engaging story
- Good voice acting
- Gorgeous ambient soundtrack
- Beautiful environment models
- Interesting but not so hard puzzle

Cons:
- Puzzles and storyline are not so related to each other. You have to go one place to another, back and forth to find a small piece of cutscenes or dialogs. Since this game is slow paced, most of the time you just walk, walk and walk.

Fans of adventure games please be sure to grab this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 23, 2015
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 18, 2015
A great point and click adventure game that really reminded me of the feeling I had when playing Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within.
I really got invested in the story and its characters, Eventhough they are a bit stereotypical, each of them has a strong personality and are quite likeable.
Wanting to unveil the game's mistery made me play hours on end without losing patience or feeling the need to go check walktroughs even when things got a bit more difficult.
The fact that you get to play two characters during the game is also a nice change of perspective and freshens things up a bit.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny