Twelve Minutes Review – An unforgettable time loop thriller

Twelve Minutes is a point-and-click adventure game from Luis Antonio and Annapurna Interactive. It takes players through a time loop that they need to break out of by figuring out what to do in each loop. It has a top-class cast and is available now for PC and consoles. In our Twelve Minutes Review, we’ll talk about why this title is a must-have.

History and writing

Once you’ve seen one of the trailers, setup is pretty straightforward. You come home one evening and interact with your wife just like any normal couple. After a few minutes on the loop, a “cop” shows up and accuses your wife of murder. The moment you are hit or killed by the police officer, the loop starts again.

This interaction is played over and over again throughout the game, but you as a gamer grow with it. Going through a loop reveals more about the characters, and you keep that information in each loop. Suddenly, the interaction isn’t about greeting your wife, it’s about convincing her of the time warp. Things get even more chaotic as the story progresses, with some very shocking revelations.

These screenshots show the player character entering their apartment, usually after a loop reset
Twelve minute screenshot

The characters voiced by James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe are all very believable. Your dialogues feel honest and the voice acting is as good as you would expect. However, Willem Dafoe’s performance is outstanding and he really adds a lot to the narrative.

The ending is a bit of a controversial topic at the moment, but for my part I didn’t really see it coming. It’s something that can be annoying to many players but potentially brave for others. Anyway, it’s nice to see a game spark discussions between gamers and critics.

Gameplay and controls

While the trailer doesn’t exactly give that impression, Twelve Minutes is actually a point-and-click adventure title. This means that you combine different items that you find in the apartment and have conversations in the same way. A lot can fall through trial and error, but there are definitely moments when you feel pretty smart.

Well, some interactions can be a little dull and you may have to go through the same interactions over and over. This is where the game stalls a bit and doesn’t offer a lot of instructions on what to do next. Yes, you will be fed relevant information as you keep experimenting, but at times I felt a bit lost. Fortunately, you can read some tips online to point you in the right direction.

The main character was from the "police officer", and lies on the floor and cannot break free
Twelve minute screenshot

The controls on the PC, which is simply a mouse, work very well, and anyone familiar with point-and-click titles will immediately feel at home. Playing with a controller can feel a bit tricky and takes getting used to. Whenever you have the chance, the mouse is definitely recommended.

Players will use the phone to dial different numbers and get messages
Twelve-minute review

One quality of life feature that might be helpful was adding something like the forward time feature in Life is Strange. Going through the same instances to perform a slightly different action can be a little annoying, especially if you can mess it up very easily. You can increase the speed of the dialogue, which is welcomed, but it could have been more.

Picture and sound

Twelve Minutes is a beautiful looking game with a very unique presentation. Given the long development time, it was instantly recognizable due to its camera angle. Every time a new screenshot and trailer came up, you knew exactly what the game was about.

The main character is dancing with his wife.  The visuals are a highlight of our Twelve Minutes review
Twelve minute screenshot

The art direction of this game is excellent and the rooms are very detailed. The lighting is also handled carefully and the change between a dark and a fully lit room appears realistic. Most of the elements displayed are interactive, which really adds to the presentation.

We already praised the voice acting, but the game’s audio design is pretty stellar too. Given the frequency with which you will be repeating these loops, small sounds become very noticeable and enrich the world itself. These noises become audible cues for specific events, and the game does not shy away from adding suspense with a haunting soundtrack.

verdict

Twelve Minutes is a bold adventure with shocking revelations, tense moments, and some very human interactions. It’s a point-and-click title that doesn’t add much to the genre, but there are enough encounters to make it worth playing. It’s a visually standalone game with an excellent cast that really makes for a memorable experience.

The main character lies in bed with his wife
Twelve minute screenshot

Also check out our other reviews of Mighty Goose, Retro Machina, and Resident Evil Village. You can buy Twelve Minutes on PC from the link below.

What do you think of our twelve-minute review? Have you played it so far Do share your thoughts on this in the comments below.

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