Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Apr 27, 2011
    75
    Gray Matter's winding story and masterful presentation captivate enough to hold everything together, particularly as the tale reaches its bizarre climax in the final chapters.
  2. Mar 1, 2011
    70
    Prosaic puzzles take the edge off this point-and-click adventure's absorbing melodrama.
  3. Mar 10, 2011
    80
    The puzzles could use some polish, and in the case of the final chapter, they're downright annoying, but the compelling narrative and strong characters are more than enough to keep most gamers playing right through to the surprisingly satisfying conclusion.
  4. Mar 9, 2011
    70
    A great narration job is partly betrayed by terrible animation and a sketchy finale.
  5. Feb 12, 2011
    85
    This game would have been an oasis in the desert had it been released four or five years ago, but it still achieved to stand out in a genre with many other great adventures, thanks to its great story and puzzles.
  6. Feb 12, 2011
    50
    The game requires very little of what its title suggests. (…) If you make a leap of deduction, the game won't proceed until your character, through exhaustive dialogue choices and object examinations, has caught up. [Feb 2011, p.98]
  7. Feb 12, 2011
    82
    Gray Matter is a great adventure. Lovely graphics, an engaging story, and logical puzzles make this game a great pastime for those looking for a funny point and click adventure.
  8. Feb 12, 2011
    80
    Jane Jensen has done it again. Her brand new adventure has a great atmosphere, characters to remember and a classy graphic design. It may no be the new Gabriel Knight, but Gray Matter it's definetly worth your money.
  9. Feb 12, 2011
    80
    Gray Matter is a typical point & click adventure with a deep storyline and a stunning atmosphere. Apart from the lack of action it's a game which is worth a try.
  10. Feb 28, 2011
    70
    Gray Matter weaves an intriguing tale that will please adventure game fans, but won't necessarily impress them.
  11. Feb 12, 2011
    90
    Gray Matter is probably the best adventure game of the last years: it provides new ideas and fresh experiences, finally treating players as adult people. Perfection is not of this world, but this game goes very close to it.
  12. 50
    An ambitious slice of interactive fiction but not really a very good video game, with unsatisfying and often perfunctory puzzles.
  13. Feb 12, 2011
    80
    Gray Matter is an serious and amazing adventure in a simple but well-organized development and a surprising plot. It would be one of that titles that everyone remember with special affection if published 20 years ago, but unfortunately it comes at a very weak moment for its genre. Required for all lovers of adventure games.
  14. Mar 17, 2011
    75
    I still find it refreshing that in a time where so many games assume the "more is more" addage, there are still a lot of thoughtful games out there that take their time to build atmosphere and story, and give players a bit of pondering time, rather than relying on reflexes (or frequent use of the autosave function). Gray Matter is definitely one of these games.
  15. Feb 12, 2011
    80
    Gray Matter entails thanks to a very good story from Jane Jansen, with good characters and rich situations. But the gameplay will be a disappointment for point & click fans. Too easy, it also suffers from some real flaws in design, shortcomings that have a knack for killing an atmosphere that the production values already have trouble to maintain... If the story is all that matters to you, then it's well worth playing.
  16. 70
    It took seven years to create this remarkable game. The story and characters are written so well it would have been better if Gray Matter was made into a novel or movie rather than a videogame. [Dec 2010]
  17. Mar 14, 2011
    80
    Jane Jensen, creator of the Gabriel Knight-series, aims high and has created a incredible game that proudly takes place amongst the greatest adventure games of all time.
  18. Feb 16, 2011
    74
    A welcome return for one of adventure gaming's patron designers, if not quite a glorious return to form.
  19. Mar 13, 2011
    91
    Misdirection, manipulation, and an inventory filled with objects are the tools of the stage magician, but they're also the basics of the adventure-game genre. Why it's taken so long for the two to be combined is anyone's guess, but in Gray Matter, the fit is so natural that it seems like it's the way adventure games always should have been.
  20. Feb 12, 2011
    77
    What a game Gray Matter could have been if the developers would have been able to deliver more than second rate puzzles. Still, if you like adventures, you should give it a try.
  21. Apr 19, 2011
    90
    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. A few audio/visual foibles and a slow, methodical pace might drive some players away, but for anyone who is interested in quality adventure titles or relaxing, contemplative gameplay experiences, I couldn't recommend this game more.
  22. Mar 7, 2011
    80
    Gray Matter presents an exciting, intriguing and well researched mystery, which coupled with memorable characters and enjoyable puzzles makes this game a "must have" for every point & click adventure game fan out there.
  23. Feb 12, 2011
    74
    Gray Matter makes the most of its small scale. There are no mad supervillains, and no one here wants to plunge the world in the eternal darkness. This is a convincing, emotionally mature story about grief, estrangement, and longing to be with a beloved person.
  24. Mar 31, 2011
    60
    Jensen can weave a fine tale, but she's forgotten what it takes to craft an enjoyable point-and-click puzzle. [Apr 2011, p.67]
  25. Mar 30, 2011
    40
    Beyond the poor dialogue, patchwork visuals and ridiculous interface of the console version, there is an interesting adventure game buried here.
  26. Feb 12, 2011
    81
    What do you expect from an Adventure Game? Is it the story, the immersion? Then Gray Matter will be perfect for you. But if you prefer great graphics and presentation, you should rather skip it, unless you are an Xbox 360-only adventure gamer.
  27. Mar 21, 2011
    90
    The best adventure game of the last five years. Possibly, of the next five years as well. [Feb 2011, p.91]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Jan 1, 2012
    8
    We didn't see very often in adventure games the same product quality like Gray matter. The game has bring a fresh air to this kind of games, has a nice lyric story, nice graphics and memorable characters. Nice game for all the adventure fans. Full Review »
  2. Dec 11, 2012
    9
    This is old-fashioned adventure gaming with a 21st century veneer. For the adventure gaming veterans, this is heaven. Gabriel Knight writer/designer Jane Jensen returns to create another paranormal mystery game with challenging puzzles and an intriguing plot. Full Review »
  3. Mar 29, 2011
    8
    It would be easy to harp on the problems with Gray Matter (slow-moving, some awkward conversations, leaps in logic), but that would be ignoring what it is supposed to be. Point-and-click adventure games, at their heart, tell a story with the help of the player. So one way to rate the game would be to rate how appealing the story is, and Gray Matter's story is intriguing and well-paced, littered with interesting characters. At times, the voice acting can fall flat, but in a $30 game (I got mine for $15, downloaded from Amazon), this is not a problem, and the acting is far from distractingly bad, ala Final Fantasy X and others.

    The heart of the story revolves around Samantha Everett, a stage magician who uses tricks (illusions, Michael!) to get what she needs from others. The magic interface is well done, and you find yourself looking forward to the next time you have to use your magic book and various items to dupe a student or professor. There are actually several things happening in Sam's life, both on her own and within her new "job" as assistant to Dr. Styles, a reclusive ex-professor at Oxford (where the majority of the game takes place) who now stays home and conducts endless experiments in his basement. The game deserves credit for bringing all these plot points together competently.

    The other way to grade the game would be the content of the puzzles, and as far Gray Matter goes, the puzzles are not only satisfying, but actually fit organically into the story, a place where many adventure games fail. At no point will you be forced to complete a non-sensical sliding block puzzle just because the developers aren't original enough to come up with anything else. Sure, there are a few puzzles that seem to stretch the rules of ordinary logic, but nothing so jarring that you lose the sense of immersion.

    There are minor annoyances, as well. Some were mentioned earlier (and it should be noted that while the game moves slow, the music is good enough that you never really mind), but something that can be particularly bad is that only a handful of areas stretch beyond the confines of one screen, and it can be unclear when you are in one of these areas. If what you need to solve the puzzle is just off the screen, it may take you a while to figure out. Luckily, there are guides to get you through some of the smaller actions you need to take that aren't quite clear, these included.

    Overall, Gray Matter deserves your attention if you enjoy this type of game. The story is interesting and well-written, pushed forward by puzzles that never lose their sense of place.
    Full Review »