Maquette has enough interesting ideas to push any adventure gamer past the finish line.
Superliminal meets The Unfinished Swan in an admirable debut effort from Grateful Decay, that's best when it sticks to the ingenous premise.
Maquette is an incredibly clever and absolutely gorgeous first-person puzzle game, even if it doesn’t really push the boundaries of its own recursive concept in any particularly surprising ways. That left me feeling like its straightforward story and puzzles were a missed opportunity to do something more, but playing through Maquette’s brief adventure was at least a lovely, mind-tickling evening well spent.
A love story told through a first person puzzle game that delights in playing with scale and recursive environments, even if its conundrums eventually feel a little undercooked.
When Maquette is firing on all cylinders, it is a beautiful journey through a series of ever-larger environments, and Maquette’s love story is poignant and a little heartbreaking. Sadly, my interactions with the puzzles were also full of heartbreak. While Maquette has some missteps, I look back fondly on my time with it. Much like a real-life romance, my affection for this game is complicated.
It reminds me of a relationship I had, one that I thought I would never see myself out of. It's these memories of mine that give Maquette's narrative that emotional weight, even when the writing is clumsy or stilted. When I look back at that relationship, it's only just a speck in my 32 years of life, something that hardly gets a thought. It's hard to imagine that there was a time when it was so much bigger, where I lived in a fantasy world of my own creation - but I did. And Maquette has the right beats, and recursions, to bring up that feeling in me, that conflicting sense of scale.
Maquette it's an interesting proposal, both in terms of gameplay (recursive worlds), and the way it tells the tale of a relationship. It's not perfect (frame rate issues, some puzzle design maybe are too complex and abstract...), but the precious message and the mark it will leave are, simply, magnificent.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Maquette is a great puzzle game that uses perspective and out of the box thinking very well. The story of Michael and Kenzie is neatly entwined within these puzzle, adding heart and soul to the game as you make your way through the world, big and small.
Maquette is an intriguing recursive puzzle game that offers a variety of logical challenges, certainly ingenious but sometimes difficult to solve.
Review in Italian | Read full review
The stunning world Graceful Decay has built in Maquette is perpetually gorgeous and dream-like throughout its short time, never failing to blind you with its beauty. The puzzles utilise size manipulation to provide you with a satisfying mix of challenges, too.
The puzzles compel, while the narrative stalls, and there is something worthy in that mismatch. I only wish that breakup at its core yielded something worth holding on to.
It’s not always a perfect combination. A few of the latter puzzles feel needlessly complicated, requiring you to place the objects at pixel-perfect angles to trigger the next area. But that doesn’t take away from how remarkable the game is. Like Portal before it, Maquette redefines what puzzle games are capable of, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about these characters any time soon.
This simple girl-meets-boy story plays out in a series of abstract dioramas, each one bigger than the next
Maybe there’s no healthy way to insulate yourself from heartbreak, but there’s still beauty in the retrospective. Maquette casts a rosy lens on a love story softened by time’s eventual passage. It’s an important lesson, that the sorrow of love lost can be soothed and sanded down by the steady movement of the clock. The story’s frequent puzzle breaks mean that you’re eased into the worst of it. You’re given a long runway before the inevitable climax, which might be a blessing in itself. Even if a reflective journey through a complex relationship doesn’t appeal to you, the intricate world and it’s fascinating puzzles will surely have you hooked.
Maquette has a strong narrative bolstered by top-tier voice performances and honest, relatable writing. The puzzle mechanics are unique and exciting, but the game is let down by signposting issues and obtuse design choices.
Maquette has a great puzzle mechanic as its central hook, though it sometimes struggles with obtuse implementation and fussy controls. Nonetheless, the narrative arc of the young relationship at the center of the game is well worth a bit of frustration to experience. Some lovely visuals and music make playing Maquette that much more rewarding.
Maquette is just fascinating. It is a game that has one central mechanic and ties it into a narrative not often told by games and media. That unique blend of challenging, but mind-boggling recursive gameplay, jaw-dropping set-pieces, and heartfelt narrative moments really crafts an experience that mesmerises and stuns at every turn and is another great title from Annapurna.
Maquette is a fascinating puzzle game with a unique central mechanic. This leads to some super clever puzzles that will really test your grey matter. However, we can't help but feel that the concept's potential isn't quite fulfilled. Similarly, the story is pretty unique among games, but the execution just isn't quite there. Overall, it's an enjoyable experience that puzzle lovers should sample - just don't expect it to change the world.
If you can pick up Maquette from free as March 2021’s PlayStation Plus title, it’s difficult to argue against. But if you’re looking to pay full price for this 3-hour puzzler, you’re money’s better spent elsewhere.