Annapurna Interactive, known for titles like What Remains of Edith Finch and Donut Country, has announced a release date for their most recent puzzle game, Maquette. Maquette seems to be a perfect blend of narrative storytelling as well as a complex puzzle simulator. To anyone confused where the name came from, a maquette is an unfinished or preliminary model that sculptors use, a fitting name for a game comprised of multi-sized models inside of one another. For those prospective players that have been to San Francisco, the architecture, art, and soundtrack of Maquette will seem very familiar. The developers even went so far as to feature Bay Area musicians to add another layer of authenticity.
The characters and situations are simple at the start, but the game evolves as the romantic relationship between its two main characters becomes more complex. The world of Maquette is a playable, interactive metaphor; a physical manifestation of the emotional underpinnings between two lovers, played out through a series of puzzles, representing the many challenges and triumphs a relationship can go through. It’s a cathartic experience.
As seen above, the cast trailer was dropped recently. Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, Black Mirror) and Seth Gabel (Fringe, Salem) are voicing the characters of Kenzie and Michael respectively. Kenzie and Michael are two lovers looking back onto their relationship as they guide players throughout the game. Maquette is known as a “recursive puzzle game” which lends itself to infinite possible ways to progress, great for gamers who enjoy a non-linear path. The recursion aspect was influenced by the complex, almost borderline random behavior that physics exhibits. As players traverse the world of Maquette, they will have to solve these puzzles in order to advance the story of Kenzie and Michael. As one of the cast members, Bryce Dallas Howard, puts it, the puzzles are almost a sort of metaphor for relationships.
Maquette will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam on March 2 for $19.99.