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 (271 reviews) - 90% of the 271 user reviews for this game are positive.
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
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
54 of 60 people (90%) found this review helpful
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

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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
I'm on the fence about this game, but in the end I'd recommend it (weakly). I think the devs did a nice job overall, though the game does have some flaws. In particular, I think they did a nice job of steering away from the standard genre cliches and doing something different in terms of characters, plot, setting, etc.

Pros:
+ Excellent story. Fairly unique plot. Good pacing. Kept me engaged throughout. The story alone is enough reason to play, at the end of the day.
+ Good characters. Chatacters were distinct, and were not simply the standard cliches you see in every other game.
+ Several pretty innovative elements (both in terms of story and gameplay). Most notably, the main character is a stage magician and is able to do magic tricks to solve certain puzzles. (This mechanic is not very well done, but still nice to see something fresh.)

Cons:
- The game is unreasonable in terms of expecting you to do very, very specific things at certain points in the game. At several times, I got 99% of the way through a chapter only to get stuck on a single action because I didn't do something very small (like look at something or go back to an area I had already searched). As a result, I had to consult a walkthrough several times. In each case I was very annoyed at the "solution."
- I appreciate that the cutscene artwork in the game is unique and different, but it is not very effective at conveying what is actually happening. Some of the cutscenes can be pretty confusing in terms of following what is actually going on.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2015
This is an excellent point and click adventure. It has a great story with interesting characters which is the key to point and click games. You play as two different characters, one of whom is convinced the events are due to paranormal activity and the other who is convinced it is due to a magician's illusions which really helps tell the story form the different perspectives. The puzzles are mostly straightforward, you just mainly need to go round and talk to everyone and look at everything to progress the story. There are a few convoluted puzzles but not too many. The length of the game is pretty good too for a point and click game. The locations are beautiful as is the cut scene art, only slightly marred by how the 3D models don't quite look like the characters do in the cut scenes. I also really liked the music there were a couple of times where I just sat and listend to the music for a bit in the menu before I started the game. All in all a pretty good game.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
Great game for an adventure game fan. A little glitchy, but not terrible. Really good voice acting. The plot was interesting. I feel it wrapped up in a somewhat predictable manner, while leaving somewhat of a plothole or.. leap of logic in it. But that is only a minor detractor from an overall great game. Particularly the visual composure of the scenes with the thoughtfullness of the puzzles. Most of the puzzles and item combinations and stuff makes sense without being overly easy or overly difficult, it's pretty medium in that respect. Which I like, because I like to get through the story without getting bored, while having to put some thought into stuff.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
I'm actually torn between whether to recommend the game or not. It reminds me a lot about Fahrenheit in a way that a mysterious and captivating story gets ruined by a rushed up and shallow ending. At least all the mysteries are explained. Kinda.

Why have I finally decided not to recommend the game? While I have certainly enjoyed the voice acting and the story (except the ending), the production values of the game are not really that high. The visuals, especially characters models and animations are subpar for 2014. The cutsences are just a series of images. The puzzles are pretty boring and obvious for the most part. And you have to visit the same locations again and again in the first 7 chapters (only the last chapter has a lot of cool new content).

There are also some technical issues related to the perfomance. Also there's no autosave feature which is really bad since these days you are accustomed not to save your game manually.

Bottom line: while Gray Matter is not bad, there are so many great adventure games these days (from Daedalic and King Art specifically, not to mention Broken Age and Sherlock Holmes series) that have higher production values. Sorry, Jane Jensen, but it seems your time has passed.
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