“One of the most essential iOS games of the year. Proves just how interesting and vital gaming as a medium can be. 9/10” —Pocket Gamer

“Grayout is exceptional as a game, as a compelling narrative, as an experiment in communication. It is simple, poignant, and horrifying.” —Gamezebo

Grayout is an aphasiac text game set in a medical dystopia. It’s a prequel to the censorship game Blackbar.

In Grayout, you play Alaine, a rebelious resident of the totalitarian community called The Neighborhood, who wakes up in a hospital research lab following an accident… or so she is told. The game is a series of conversations with hospital staff, made challenging by Alaine’s post-traumatic aphasia—a disorder that affects one’s ability to process language.

Grayout simulates the experience of having a word on the tip of your tongue, the frustration of knowing what you mean but not how to say it, the feeling of being overwhelmed by the runaway thoughts inside your head and struggling to reign them in.

This is a game for fans of text adventures, interactive fiction, word puzzles, story-driven games, and emotional simulations.

“Marvelous.” —The Guardian, The best iPhone and iPad apps of 2015

“Liked Blackbar? This is harder but also cleverer. Lots more feels too. Prepare your brain.” —Sam Barlow of 'Her Story'

We hope your stay in the Neighborhood Hospital is pleasant and brief. Get well.

What’s New

Version 1.0.3

Thanks for playing Grayout! We're a small team, so we really appreciate your reviews of the game. Tell your friends!

Here's what's been fixed in 1.0.3:

• Updated to fix a crash in iOS 13
• Properly supports newer iPhones

Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5
53 Ratings

53 Ratings

:-L ,

Interesting, but sometimes too difficult

It does often turn out to be nothing more than a guessing game sometimes, and there were several parts where I ended up searching for answers online because I had no clear idea what to do (and upon reading some of the later answers, sometimes I had no idea how the heck I was supposed to figure the puzzle out). Very interesting story and idea, though, just wish it could’ve been something more.

Aaron Harpole ,

An exercise in frustration

The premise sounded great but actually playing the game is not much more than a frustrating guessing game. The idea is that you are waking up as a patient in a hospital with limited verbal ability and you must express yourself using just the words made available to you.

The game is very inflexible in what is considered valid input which turned a promising game into a frustrating one. I would enter phrases that were complete and fit in with the question asked and it wouldn't be accepted. It's sad, too, because it seems like a lot of work was put into making it an engaging story. I just couldn't become immersed in it when I kept getting reminded of the fact that it's just a dumb computer that has a limited set of valid input.

Turrean ,

Good story, not really a game.

I loved Blackbar, so gave Grayout a whirl, too.

The story is wonderful; it places you in a chilling dystopian scenario with sadistic keepers and little hope of escape. I enjoyed it.

But as for gameplay, there’s not much here. The only “puzzle” comes from trying to figure out what the game designers thought my responses to other characters ought to be. And if the game designers thought, for example, that I ought to respond “That’s the right answer” then saying “That is correct” or “You’re right” or “That is right” or “You’re not wrong there” or even “That is the right answer” won’t be accepted by the game.

I understand they wanted me to experience the frustration of helplessness and aphasia. But this is just the frustration of pure guessing, like randomly trying numbers on a bike lock until it opens. There’s never the delighted feeling you get when you finally figure out a puzzle based on cleverly hidden clues. There are barely any hidden / contextual clues to discover. The rest is just moving words around until you guess right.


Mrgan LLC
38.7 MB

Requires iOS 11.4 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Infrequent/Mild Medical/Treatment Information
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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