12 Minutes Review

First off, I will try my best to make this review completely spoiler free as this is one of the most enjoyable titles I have played this year since Hitman 3 back in January and I’d recommend that everyone play with as little prior knowledge as possible.

Developed by Luis Antonio and published by Annapuma Interactive, Twelve Minutes is a highly-anticipated, unique narrative adventure game. It came straight to Xbox Game Pass for everyone to enjoy. Back when this was announced in E3 last year it completely peaked my interest, especially with voice acting from the likes of Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy and Willem Dafoe.

For those who don’t know, the premise of Twelve Minutes is of a man stuck in a time loop and it’s up to you to figure out why and how to get out of it. Time passes in real time and when your time is up (or you reach an impasse) it loops back to the beginning.

It’s played from a top-down perspective in a small apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and closet. You control the male protagonist who lives with his wife. Your evening is interrupted by a police officer, voiced by the brilliant Willem Dafoe, who knocks on the door and accuses one of them of committing a crime.

The game mechanics are point and click, where you control the cursor with the analogue stick and click to inspect on object, pick it up or move around the apartment. You can drag items from your inventory to interact with the environment or other characters.

Working out the story was so much fun. There’s a lot of trial and error, and if you’re like me there also a bit of doing things just to see what will happen and how much you can annoy your wife! Every bit of information you learn feels important and helps you adapt your actions after each loop. You have that sense of pressure and urgency for having to gain the information you need as you only have that limited window of time. I pray that no one ever looks up a guide of what to do and just enjoys the ride of working things out, as the satisfaction of progressing is great. It does sometimes get frustrating, especially the further you progress as you have to go through the motions again and again, but you are able to forward repeated dialogue or sleep in the bed to forward time.

The narrative and storyline are brilliant and the voice acting is flawless. Every bit of dialogue is voiced and you won’t need to read anything or sit in silence. They’ve done a fantastic job – I cannot fault it and I feel they have been casted perfectly.

Considering the whole game takes place in a small, simple area, it is graphically beautiful. The only odd bit is sometimes if you zoom in on something the background can look a bit blocky and fuzzy, but that doesn’t impact the gameplay in any way..

I found myself not wanting to put this down and complete it in one go, but I had to go back to it with a fresh head (having slept on it) to figure out my next move! But it was such an enjoyable journey. There is also the opportunity to complete multiple play-throughs in order get certain achievements, although each loop is like a play-through in itself!

Conclusion

I could talk for ages about Twelve Minutes as I loved everything about it, but there’s not much that can be said without spoilers. The voice acting is fantastic and the gameplay is very enjoyable. It’s a fantastic title and the fact it comes straight to Game Pass is brilliant. I can’t recommend this enough.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game played via Game Pass subscription.
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Good
  • Brilliant voice acting
  • Amazing and fun story
  • Visually beautiful
Bad
  • an understand towards the end it get's repetitive
9.3
Excellent
Gameplay - 9.5
Graphics - 8.5
Audio - 10
Longevity - 9
Written by
For me it started out on PC, back in the Wolfenstein 3D and Commander Keen days. Now I play across all platforms, but I'm gaming every day, mainly on xbox. I'm easy going, with a full-on achievement hunting addiction, but you mainly can find me getting my fix on Apex Legends (Caustic FTW) Gamertag: nuttywray

1 Comment

  1. I’ll be honest that I found 12 minutes hard to put down, but the conclusion of this game made me balk quite a bit. I am glad I played it because the premise was so strong but it was a real tough final act that made me a little bit angry at the rest of the game. Would love to talk about your interpretation of the ending some time.

    Reply

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