Model, a new indie adventure game from publisher Annapurna Interactive and developer Graceful Decay, will launch on March 2 on , and PC via Steam for $ 20. Maquette tells a love story between Kenzie (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard of Jurassic World and Black Mirror) and Michael (voiced by Seth Gabel of Fringe) – two artists who met at a coffee shop.
Maquette is a first-person puzzle game where the environment works the same way as nesting dolls. Any building, crack in the ground, rock, plant or object has a miniature and massive counterpart in the world of Maquette. It’s up to you to discover how to manipulate the world to solve puzzles.
In December, Hanford Lemoore, founder of Graceful Decay, gave CNET a first look at Maquette’s complex gameplay on Discord.
Amidst these Alice in Wonderland-style puzzles, the game offers clues to Kenzie and Michael’s relationship, moving the tale forward, with phrases appearing on the walls as you explore the world. The thoughtful design and the memories in the chosen sentences made me think of my own relationships, immediately committing myself to the game. The cutscenes only feature voices, which provides a more intimate experience compared to other games.
The game takes place over seven chapters, the first being The Garden. It’s a quiet and peaceful area to walk through when these phrases appear, defining the story. Once you reach the next chapter the puzzle work begins, and as the story progresses more places are unlocked.
What was perhaps most interesting to me was what lay under the ornate pink dome, the Maquette, after I left the Garden: a smaller, more accurate copy of the outside world. And it does not stop there. Everything you do in the small world is reflected in the big world (and vice versa).
To solve the puzzles you will have to get creative and change the scale of the objects. Keys become bridges and ramps, for example, and sidewalk cracks become doors. The way the environment continues to change reflects the relationship between Kenzie and Michael – how two people can grow together, but also how even the smallest problems can always be difficult to overcome.
Mockup has been a long time coming for Graceful Decay fans. The puzzle game was first announced in 2011 at the Game Developers Conference Experimental Gaming Workshop, Polygon reported this year. Annapurna Interactive took over the game in February.
For more information, see, and .