Annapurna Interactive has become a powerhouse for publishing award-winning, critically acclaimed games. Outer Wilds. The Pathless. What Remains of Edith Finch. Donut Country. Kentucky Route Zero. Gone Home. Journey. The list goes on and on, and it is ridiculous. What this boils down to is that when Annapurna is prepping a game for release, I sit up and take notice.
The latest Annapurna effort, Maquette - developed by Graceful Decay - is scheduled to be released on March 2. This plot-driven puzzler has players exploring a romantic relationship by solving puzzles that take place on multiple planes, with worlds nestled within worlds. VR players might recognize the mechanic from last year's cult classic A Fisherman's Tale, but it looks to be implemented this time in a beautiful, imaginary environment. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense to read, but check out this trailer and you'll get it:
You might also recognize the voices in that trailer. That's because the two main characters are portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village, Jurassic World) and Seth Gabel (Fringe, Nip/Tuck). While the players solve the puzzles, they are also moving the story forward as the two characters reflect back on their relationship.
“While the fantastical puzzles and recursive reality of Maquette deliver the ‘a-ha’ moments, Bryce and Seth convey the emotional heartbeat of the story,” said creative director and Graceful Decay founder Hanford Lemoore. “The message behind Maquette is truly one of understanding - understanding in the physical world, in the mind, and in the heart. Bryce and Seth’s incredible performances will bring that message to life.”
Fans of narrative games would do well to pay attention to this one. Between the talent involved and Annapurna's pedigree, Maquette is likely to be a remarkable experience.
Maquette will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam on March 2, 2021. For more information, check out Maquette's website.