This game's approach to mature topics such as self-acceptance, emotional growth, and setting expectations can either be meaningful or useless, depending on the player's background. For adults, Maquette is an intricate, complex narrative full of opportunities to reframe and reprocess one's own experiences. For teens, the simultaneous avoidance and reactive characteristics of Kenzie and Michael's relationship may be too subtle to understand, even at a simplistic level. As a result, this narrative may only be relevant for emotionally aware adults rather than young teens, who should first be educated regarding the basics of boundaries, consent, and respect in romantic relationships.
Whether or not a calm, self-paced, emotional storyline is what you are looking for in a gaming experience, any instance where a storytelling medium successfully presents relatable events in a universal yet completely new way is a triumph. Maquette is a fantastic title for Annapurna Interactive, which is truly redefining what seemingly simple genres like puzzle games and walking simulators can and should be capable of, showcasing games on the cutting edge for players searching for emotional depth and memorable narratives. The only drawback: This isn't what every player wants. If you've been a fan of other dialogue-heavy, emotionally difficult narratives in video games, Maquette is a home run. But if you're the type of player looking solely for escapism and entertainment, Maquette is a pretty, short puzzle game with an entertaining soundtrack. Either way, it's worth your time, because Maquette is a standout game that's an instant classic.