Maquette has enough interesting ideas to push any adventure gamer past the finish line.
What is it? A first-person puzzle game on a psychedelic scale.
Expect to pay: $20/£15.49
Developer: Grateful Decay
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Reviewed on: Windows 10, GeForce GTX 1070, Intel Core i7-9700 CPU, 16GB RAM
Maquette, the first game from studio Grateful Decay, wants to put an emotional pulse into the staid, first-person puzzler. Classics of the genre—Myst, Riven, The Witness—are heavy on the deceptive, occasionally ingenious tests of perception and reasoning, but unless you are one of the rare souls who pores over D’ni lore, there’s little chance you felt any significant investment in those lonely shores, or the stranger that washed up on them. Maquette takes the opposite approach. The setting is still surreal, hallucinogenic, and very Myst-y, but it cloaks all of its strangeness in a very ordinary narrative about two artists in San Francisco who fell in and out of love. There are no shocking twists or aching ambiguities or hair-raising stakes. No, this is a very ordinary, relatable story, the sort of thing that happens every day. That is both Maquette’s strength and weakness.