Posted: April 6, 2014
A funny little gem of the post-Golden-Age of adventure games, Gray Matter possesses both humble charm and quaint nostalgia. Like its author's previous game, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, the story of Gray Matter revolves around the supernatural. A young American street magician traveling Europe chances upon Oxford hermit Dr. David Styles, whose mysterious nature and odd experiments cultivate an air of mystery.
TLDR; It's classic Sierra gameplay with a facelift and a few extra tricks. Like its ancestors, Gray Matter suffers from occasionally obscure solution and a few glitches. Don't expect miracles, but do expect magic... get it? MAGIC. Like in the game. This game. Samantha does magic. Okay, forget it.
-- Solid atmosphere, great writing, and an intruiging story all make Gray Matter a cerebral experience.
-- Though it boasts dated graphics, the engine holds up well enough. I rarely felt it inadequate, and sometimes it was quite attractive.
-- Most of the puzzles, while not particularly difficult, are satisfying.
-- Some of the voiceacting is either uninspired or poorly timed.
-- A few of the puzzles are TOO easy and simply feel like busywork (Example: Samantha needs to steal a key, so she decides to employ a magic trick that requires another item. Sam goes to the magic shop, purchases the item, and performs the trick at the former location. However, the trick fails; mind you, this is scripted. Now she needs to purchase ANOTHER item from the same magick shoppe to perform a second trick to distract someone, which involves backtracking again.)
-- The music can get pretty repetitive. As in, you will probably feel the urge to turn it off after an hour.
Overall, Gray Matter offers a fun, engaging experience that will feel familiar to adventure game veterans. It's a great game for newcomers, too, since its puzzles aren't quite the non-sequiturs of yore; still, its approach to adventure is satisfying because Gray Matter's writing is so very apt.