Gray Matter PC

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 83
  2. Negative: 6 out of 83
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  1. 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,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.
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  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jun 19, 2011
    8
    Being a huge fan of the Gabriel Knight series, I was looking forward to this for years. And I have to say it... only partly disappointed. Yes, it is not the genius game that I would have hoped for. Not as dark as I had hoped (which I was already afraid of when i saw the age rating for the first time) and sometimes, the production value was disappointing. Not in terms of gameplay graphicsBeing a huge fan of the Gabriel Knight series, I was looking forward to this for years. And I have to say it... only partly disappointed. Yes, it is not the genius game that I would have hoped for. Not as dark as I had hoped (which I was already afraid of when i saw the age rating for the first time) and sometimes, the production value was disappointing. Not in terms of gameplay graphics though. In my opinion, those are absolutely gorgeous and quite a bit more detailed than I expected! In harsh contrast to back then when I first played Gabriel Knight 3, which was not on par with games released back then. No, what was disappointing in terms of production value to me was the fact that apparently, at least two major characters were dubbed by the same voice actress. Maybe even three. I simply was unable to get over that. The cheap style of the cut scenes was also not something I particularly enjoyed but I was able to get used to that after a while. As far as other things are concerned... I felt that the difficulty was alright, I actually applaud the fact that there were only roughly as much as needed interactive objects in the environment (pretty much like Gabriel Knight 2 & 3, not the confusing mass of details as in "classic" adventure games such as also for instance Gabriel Knight 1) and the story clearly has its Jane Jensen mark (which I consider to be a very good thing). So all in all, I hope that this will generate enough budget for there to be a sequel and hopefully the few issues mentioned above will be taken care of then. I would love nothing more than to have another true Jane Jensen masterpiece in my hands. Expand
  5. Sep 27, 2013
    8
    Far from perfection, this is a game that was made for for fans of old school adventure games. i.e. me.

    Every moment playing this game brought me back to the old days. Grey Matter reminds me allot of the Gabriel Knight & Broken Sword series and the experience is just as good. Fantastic visuals, wonderful writing, deep and well thought out character and talented voice acting. Why don't
    Far from perfection, this is a game that was made for for fans of old school adventure games. i.e. me.

    Every moment playing this game brought me back to the old days. Grey Matter reminds me allot of the Gabriel Knight & Broken Sword series and the experience is just as good. Fantastic visuals, wonderful writing, deep and well thought out character and talented voice acting.

    Why don't I score this higher? For all it greatness, this game also is a testament that this style of game is dated and obsolete and adds a further reminder that these kinds of games are gone for good.

    Overall:
    A definite must for all old school gamers. As dated and done to death as this formula is, it's still nice to do it one last time.
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  6. Sep 29, 2013
    8
    Let's just run down the good and the bad.

    The writing in Gray Matter is excellent and the plot is intriguing and very well put, as expected of Jane Jensen's work. You can't easily guess what will happen next. The soundtrack is very atmospheric and memorable, voice acting is of high quality for most characters, and rendered backgrounds and ambient animation are very well executed. The
    Let's just run down the good and the bad.

    The writing in Gray Matter is excellent and the plot is intriguing and very well put, as expected of Jane Jensen's work. You can't easily guess what will happen next. The soundtrack is very atmospheric and memorable, voice acting is of high quality for most characters, and rendered backgrounds and ambient animation are very well executed. The dialogues are mostly written with care to be realistic, thus creating an appropriate sense of immersion and atmosphere this is something many adventure games lack. I also liked the varied mini games, which fit the plot well. That seems to cover almost everything...

    But there's bad too: some strict plot dependencies and off-screen puzzles might get you stuck. Character and facial animations are often stiff and unrealistic, and can harm the overall feel of the game dialogues and other portrayed situations. This was probably the reason the developers opted for hand-drawn series of pictures with minimal animation for cut scenes, which have been criticized by many (not by me though). I've also experienced some minor technical issues with frame rate, dithered cursors and overlaid music tracks. Finally, voice acting for some NPCs is below average and some lines in dialogues are just plain awkward.

    All in all, I recommend Gray Matter to anyone who can appreciate substance over style and likes story-driven point-and-click adventure games in general.
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  7. Apr 20, 2011
    8
    This game has several flaws, and it is not as good as Gabriel Knight 1 and 3. But i do think it's better than The Beast Within in many aspects. As an adventure game it does stand out, and is a good one. However, you can see that the budget was limited at several points, such as the graphics, though this does not necessarily have to be seen as a problem, as long as you're willing to swallowThis game has several flaws, and it is not as good as Gabriel Knight 1 and 3. But i do think it's better than The Beast Within in many aspects. As an adventure game it does stand out, and is a good one. However, you can see that the budget was limited at several points, such as the graphics, though this does not necessarily have to be seen as a problem, as long as you're willing to swallow the lack of animations nad de facto 2D backdrop. The acting is decent, as is the story. Both main characters are charismatic in their own ways. The first chapter may seem as a bit slow, but it picks up speed quickly, and manages to glue you to the screen (Well, at least it glued ME to the screen). A pretty good game, which represents a genre that sadly seems to have been forgotten by many. Also, I hope that we can see more of Jane Jenson's games in the future. Expand
  8. Sep 21, 2014
    8
    Nice classic adventure game with modern UI elements. I particularly liked the progress indicator menu. The story is quite interesting and the puzzles are mostly logical, but I had to see a guide several times in order to make progress. Usually, it was click a few times more on the object, use something on the object regardless of what the mouse indicates. In other games, if the object canNice classic adventure game with modern UI elements. I particularly liked the progress indicator menu. The story is quite interesting and the puzzles are mostly logical, but I had to see a guide several times in order to make progress. Usually, it was click a few times more on the object, use something on the object regardless of what the mouse indicates. In other games, if the object can be manipulated in some way, the cursor indicates this, however, here it stay the watch cursor unless you put the right tool into your hand. The final labyrinth was way more difficult than the previous puzzles. Technically, the game runs fine although it doesn't disable the screen saver in windowed play. The second minor annoyance was the font; generally, it was to thin and somewhat difficult to read. The third problem was the cursor itself, its color blends with most of the screen content and is small and thin as well, making it hard to see if it shows a look or some interact symbol. Expand
  9. Dec 21, 2014
    9
    Great art design & soundtrack. Voice acting is OK though 1 or 2 more additional voice actors would have been welcome. Original well written and immersive plot (keep 'em coming Jane Jensen). The puzzles for the most part made sense and the "magic interface" was original and very well done. Cutscene GFX aren't the best though it doesn't detract from the gamplay and the game does have a goodGreat art design & soundtrack. Voice acting is OK though 1 or 2 more additional voice actors would have been welcome. Original well written and immersive plot (keep 'em coming Jane Jensen). The puzzles for the most part made sense and the "magic interface" was original and very well done. Cutscene GFX aren't the best though it doesn't detract from the gamplay and the game does have a good atmospheric feel. Definitely worth a playthrough overall. Expand
  10. Oct 26, 2016
    8
    Gray Matter is a traditional point-and-click adventure, and as such, it's bound to offer plenty of "been there, done that" situations, as it has to be expected in a genre which has more or less been stale for a decade or so.

    We're far removed from the absorbing charm of "The Longest Journey", but all in all Gray Matter is an enjoyable little game that has a couple of interesting bits,
    Gray Matter is a traditional point-and-click adventure, and as such, it's bound to offer plenty of "been there, done that" situations, as it has to be expected in a genre which has more or less been stale for a decade or so.

    We're far removed from the absorbing charm of "The Longest Journey", but all in all Gray Matter is an enjoyable little game that has a couple of interesting bits, enough to keep the player involved until the end.

    Most puzzles are quite straightforward and don't require neither pixel-hunting (the bane of every adventurer) nor insane leaps of logic, a la Monkey Island (as in "combine the car battery with the bag of flour and use them on the left pink finger of the NPC sitting at the far end of the inn"). The average level of difficulty is adequate enough to provide a decent challenge, while not leading to extreme frustration.
    The addition of magic tricks with their own interface is a nice touch, but the step-by-step guide makes it all too easy.

    The story isn't particularly complex, but the flow is just right. Some bits are a tad flat, but the final chapter in the basement of the Deadalus Club is actually very intriguing and well-done. It's actually a shame it was rather short. Had the rest of the game been more similar to that chapter, it'd been a solid 9.

    As for the plot, I didn't see the final swerve coming until the last chapter, so credit to the writer for crafting a rather "easy" story without making the outcome a foregone conclusion.
    Whoever labelled the main plot as "romance" wasn't clearly paying attention, as it was more about revenge...

    Bottom line: Gray Matter is a well-crafted adventure game, with all the pros and the cons of a proven formula. Seasoned adventurers will enjoy it for what it is, newcomers can play it without going mad. Casuals will likely find it a bit boring, but that's not the game's fault.

    7.5/10 rounded up to 8 for the not-so-predictable finale
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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. 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.
  3. PC PowerPlay
    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]