We’ve all experienced deja vu a few times in our lives, but what happens when you have to re-live the same day over and over. You now have twelve minutes to figure everything out—the game inspired by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher, and Stanley Kubrick. Twelve Minutes is a psychological time looping thriller, but is it a good game?
After a long day of work, you come home to your loving wife, who says she has something to celebrate. So after setting the table, you start to enjoy your dessert. Just then, there is a knock on the door; a policeman wants to talk, but before you can figure out what he wants, he ties up both you and your wife. After an altercation, you are killed and find yourself back where you started.
You are now re-living the same twelve minutes over and over again. To break the loop, you must figure the mystery behind the police officer, his connection to your wife, a pocket watch, and how you are all connected to it.
Twelve Minutes does tell an intriguing tale, with twists and good characters. The story is one big puzzle, and finding the pieces makes it a good mystery. Unfortunately, the writing is good, but not outstanding, and the big reveal is something straight out of a soap opera.
The game boasts a star-studded cast. Voices of Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe and James McAvoy are all doing a fine job. James McAvoy does a great job, especially in the emotional moments. At the same time, Willem Dafoe is just Willem Dafoe. They do a good job but nothing outstanding.
There’s not much in music, except the constant ticking of a clock which makes the game feel very tense.
Twelve Minutes is a puzzle game with old school point and click adventure game mechanics. The time loop is the leading hook of the game, making it an exciting puzzle. You have to figure out how to move forward in the game using different items and conversations.
The game will have the same sequence of events as you start; it’s up to you to figure how to break the sequence and gain information through the various events that happen.
Using information from your failed attempts will help progress the game, for example, unlocking dialogue options or using items in different ways.
There’s a great feeling when you finally figure out how to progress, and sometimes the most straightforward method is the best one. There are even surprise events that can happen by accident. Though I can see many people get stuck, leading to frustration. Especially with all the red herrings that the game throws at you. Which could lead you to spend countless hours on pointless puzzles. The game will take you about 3-5 hours to complete, and longer if you get stuck.
There are issues with Twelve Minutes. The story and events aren’t organic; specific sequences have to play out or be triggered if you want something to happen. Think you give the item to the person? No, it should’ve been on the fridge. Dialogue options have to be repeated or put in specific order to trigger something.
You can’t try to move a sequence of events forward even if you’ve already found out the information. Thus, hurting the replayability of the game as you can’t quickly force your way through it. Controls can also be sensitive; just trying to walk in the room can lead to you closing the door, wasting time.
Overall, Twelve Minutes is an excellent game with an interesting concept and story. It’s filled with great talent, but its rigid structure and stale gameplay hold it back from being a must-play. Eventually, the time loop becomes the most unappealing part of the game.
What did you think of the game? Hate it? Love it?
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Last Updated: August 27, 2021