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Game Review: Gray Matter (2010)

Last post, I mentioned that I played and finished a video game over the Christmas break. I really wanted to write a separate post, because this game deserves much recognition.

To start off with, I never heard of this game until I was searching old video game designers/writers/developers that created some of my favorite games. I came across an old post about Jane Jensen, which is one of the co-writers for King's Quest VI (the best KQ game and one of my top favorite games when it comes to stories.) For those of you who are old school gamers, Jane had her own video game series back in the day called "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers." There are a few of the Gabriel Knight games, and even a revamp of the original that was released around 2014. Low and behold, I saw that Jane Jensen tried to branch out and make another adventure game titled 'Gray Matter.' I added it to my Steam wishlist, then purchased it during my break.

To pause here for a second, I know that adventure games are kind of a thing of the past. Most gamers want lots of action, character development/leveling, customization, etc. This game is designed like an old school adventure game. It's funny, because it literally WAS written back in 2003, and the project was cancelled. I had read on an old site (via wayback machine) that then a German company picked up the project to finish up the game, with it being cancelled AGAIN in 2007. Finally, some studio in Europe (sorry I can't remember where) picked it up and finished the project, with it finally being released in 2010 on PC and XBox. Pretty insane history for such an amazing game. Why is it amazing you might ask, especially if all you do is point and click?

If you are looking to submerse yourself into a story, this is your game. It's similar to a mystery game, with many puzzles and uncovering clues, thus opening up more of the story. The game is written like a novel - with it having chapters to complete and different parts of the story to open up in each chapter. For a writer and reader like me, this is exactly what I had been looking for to relax on my free nights. The storyline is rich, filled with little details, leaving you wanting more. I became completely addicted to the game, and was bummed when I finished it.

Without giving too much story away, the game takes place in England (Oxfordshire.) The main character Samantha becomes a lab assistant to a scientist with a shrouded past. Um, stop. Scientist? Oh sign me up! Also, there is a mini-magic system with Samantha; she is a street-performing magician that needs to trick people in order to get past them in places, or revealing new clues. The story has the gothic-vibes feel, mixed with scifi, paranormal, and romance. I'm not huge into the paranormal, but this game was blended so well with the other genres that I didn't mind it.

Anyway, if you are looking for a good story, check this game out. I played this as an excuse instead of my nightly reading, because hey, the game was basically like a novel. Through researching this game, I saw that Jane Jensen wanted to make a sequel to this game for a kickstarter back in 2010s...but the fans chose a remake of Gabriel Knight instead. Unfortunately, between this game, the remake of Gabriel Knight, and her game Moebius: Empire Rising, Jane's sales didn't hit the mark so she ended up closing her game studio. She now writes romance novels full time under two different pen names.

So there you have it. I cannot stress enough how addicting this game is. Plus, the game is under $10. Check it out on Steam if you get a chance.

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