I've been further experimenting with 3D models (in milk shape) and physics Tokamak; and through it I've come to a large idea shift.
This sort of game would be better played in the first person perspective; now for a long time I've been a huge fan of 3rd person adventure games, however I think the first person view and more importantly (WASD MouseLook) control scheme is extremely well accepted today. So taking the standard First Person Shooter display and control mechanism, and instead of shooting people up, the game centers around a story with various physics puzzle obstacles, as well as traditional fetch-type puzzles. The center of the screen will act as the physics effector (your hand), which allows you to click (touch, push, etc.) and drag (latch on and cause forces with motion); the story will be worked in such a way as the player assumes the role of the main character (either as a known character or as themselves, game specific). This will simplify engine development significantly, leverage a common control scheme, cut down on dialogue and art and greatly simplify choreographing of scenes.