Superliminal was one of those games that looked cool on paper, but it was only when you played it that you truly understood how mind-bogglingly amazing the concept was. Whilst the game had its issues, for sure, it still remains as one of my favourite Portal-esque puzzle games.

Which is why I was so excited to see Maquette drop out of nowhere. With no trailer on the eshop to be seen, it remained somewhat of a mystery – but the promise of perspective puzzles was enough to draw me in.

Maquette lacks any kind of real plot, instead opting for the setting of a blossoming love that falls apart to frame the game’s progression. Certain locations and themes will revolve around the state of their relationship, but only to a tenuous degree.

Over the course of the game, there will be narration and some occasional cutscenes that help develop the relationship between the two characters (although you never actually see either of them), and they’re mostly fine. The voice acting is quite strong, but there’s so little to the story that it’s really hard to connect with either of the characters and makes their inevitable breakup just fall flat on its face. As a framing device for the seven chapters of the game, it does its job, but you’ll likely ignore most of what’s going on.

The romantic story, however, does have its benefits as it gives the game a dreamy and ethereal look for the most part. With flowers, cathedrals, beaches and the like being recurrent themes throughout, it’s hard to deny that the game is rather beautiful. There are even love songs interspersed throughout the chapters at key moments, which are an absolute delight – even if they do feel a little out of place on occasion.


For those unaware of what a maquette actually is, it’s essentially a smaller scale sculpture made to represent something far bigger. In Maquette, this titular model can be found within the giant dome lurking in the centre of the main area (although this is not the only maquette that you’ll find over the course of the game). This maquette not only represents the main area, but mirrors it exactly ensuring that changes made happen both inside and outside – regardless of where you make them.

Where things get interesting are with the addition of objects that can be manipulated. A key can be obtained within the stage that may open a certain door, but that same real-world sized key can then be placed inside of the maquette to act as a bridge – resulting in that same key being scaled up outside for you to cross. Need something smaller? Drop it in the overworld and pick up the tiny version of the object from inside the maquette! It’s a cute gimmick that’s just as awe-inspiring as in Superliminal, even if the resizing is a bit simpler and more limited in comparison.

Things do get a little more complex as you progress, with some orb-based challenges that proved to be slightly brain-wracking, but overall things don’t get too difficult. There are certainly variations on the resizing formula that help switch things up, and I do believe that they did a good job at mixing it up enough during the game’s short playtime, but you probably won’t find much that will challenge you once you start to get to grips with things.

In fact, I’d say the hardest thing to get used to is with the controls. Objects can be held up close, or outright – with only the latter being droppable – but there’s also the function to rotate the objects too. It’s fine for the most part, but can feel a tad clunky at times getting things placed where you want them. It never prevents you from solving puzzles, but it never really stops feeling a little fiddly.

But, regardless of these control issues, it’s not enough to spoil the fun of it all. It may not be quite as complicated as it could be, and the story may be absolutely pointless, but I still enjoyed my brief time with the game. There are some performance issues during some of the more complex moments – and bizarrely during the cutscenes of one chapter (and only during the cutscenes), but the game performs fine for the most part. Hopefully the game will be patched later to smoothen out these brief moments.


Maquette is a beautiful world focused around mind-bending perspective puzzles. A trite storyline, control niggles, and the occasional performance hiccup slightly mar the experience, but it’s still a great and unique puzzle experience.