A puzzle game exploring the inevitability of change with a unique recursion concept, set in a beautiful environment. Recommended if you like puzzle games, looking for something short and cool to play, and are bored with the usual formula.
- Interesting Concept
- Artistically Pleasing
- Fun Puzzles
- Utilizes Next-gen features
What' not so
- Not that well fitting story
- Recursive Elements Could be Better
- A Little too Brief
- Limited Things to Explore in the World
Literally translating to a small model or sketch, you get control of smaller (and larger) models of the world you're in — where a change made to the model is reflected to the larger world itself.
The opening level (and well the other six levels too) is nothing short of beautiful — with a calming soundtrack playing. Here, listen:
This would've slipped under the radar, if not for me having the so-many-games-in-the-library-but-nothing-to-play phase, and Sony offering as part of PS+ collection. But I'm glad I took the time to launch this. Was quite a entertaining experience, filled with a couple of WOAH moments.
While you can speed-run the whole game within an hour or so (There's even speed-run trophies/achievements linked to that), Maquette's beauty lies in the world design and it's story lies as excerpts you read in the world and audio-cutscenes — acted wonderfully by Bryce Dallas Howard and her real-life husband, Seth Gabel.
Taking the recursive concept further, you're required to solve puzzles exploring a scaled-down version of the play world at the center: the dome, and later a scaled-up version of the same world outside the borders. This is theoretically infinite, but the sizes of things scale by a huge factor — a key becoming a walkable bridge in two scales. It's magical putting a regular object in the smaller dome, and getting the giant version of the object in the world.
Some parts of the puzzles are tricky, requiring some out-of-the-dome thinking. Thankfully the developer, Graceful Decay has included (sectioned) help from within the PS5's Activity Cards.
The story, while very grounded and somber — about a young couple's romance and struggles, seems a bit strange and does not quite fit very well with the game and it's puzzle design. Feels like the story is holding back the game mechanics and the whole recursion concept. There's also too little to explore within the worlds themselves, no textual lore, very few collectibles and easter eggs to find.
But do check it out, it's an one-of-a-kind indie experience.