About Twelve Minutes
Twelve Minutes - This Is The Darkest Timeline
A Spoiler-Free Review
Let's Do The Time Warp Again
Twelve Minutes is a point-and-click thriller game focused on narrative interaction, all contained within a time loop. It was developed by Luis Antonio and published by Annapurna Interactive. Twelve Minutes stars James McAvoy as the husband, Daisy Ridley as the wife, and Willem Dafoe as the cop. Released on August 19th, 2021, it is now available on PlayStation 4|5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.
The whole of the game occurs in your one-bedroom flat. A cozy, celebratory evening with your wife quickly takes a turn for the worst when a cop bursts in and accuses your wife of murdering her father eight years ago. This loop will continue to play out ceaselessly, and it’s your job to find a way to stop it, while also making sure you’ve chosen an outcome you’re happy with. In short, Twelve Minutes is like a much, much darker version of The Stanley Parable.
Concept Rating: 3/5
It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...
Twelve Minutes isn’t the most graphically advanced game, but it does the job. While it can look rough around the edges at times, and the character’s mouths are strategically hidden by camera angles, the graphics aren’t the focus of the game - the mystery is. Still, players may find the same top-down view tiring after a handful of hours.
With a highly acclaimed cast like James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe, top-notch voice acting is to be expected. And sure enough, they blow it out of the park. While the game allows you to skip dialogue you’ve already heard, good voice acting is especially important in a game like Twelve Minutes when you’ll be hearing the same lines over and over. Similarly, it’s no small feat to voice act someone riding a rollercoaster of emotions when unexpected time travel becomes involved. McAvoy’s performance as the husband is believable, allowing players to immerse themselves in the mystery.
Graphics & Audio Rating: 4/5
Dumb Ways To Die
Having the entirety of Twelve Minutes contained within a small apartment is both a blessing and a curse. When you’re stuck looking for clues, it’s infuriating trying to find what’s likely right under your nose, but also comforting to know that you don’t have a huge area you need to search.
Items throughout the apartment can be intuitively interacted with via classic point-and-click mechanics. Some items can be used in conjunction with each other, and dragging items to something in the room will (if applicable) have the husband use that item. This simplicity is a boon since it leaves the mental space for players to address the layers upon layers of questions that unfold.
Twelve Minutes is not a game that will hold your hand. This can result in a couple of ways: genius “eureka” moments, or painful frustration. Unfortunately, the latter is hard to avoid, since players will all approach the game differently. One tip, however, is to listen carefully to what the characters say.
Most games won’t face you with the choice of heartlessly letting your wife suffer just to gain a new sliver of information, but Twelve Minutes isn’t most games. Players will discover several ways to die (and thus restart the loop), but walking out the front door is also an option.
Gameplay Rating: 4/5
A Good Way To Kill Time
Twelve Minutes is a dark interactive-narrative game that throws you in a time loop and asks you to solve a murder. With phenomenal voice-acting, a great script, and a shocking twist at the end, any shortcomings with sub-par graphics are easily overlooked.
Replay Value Rating: 3/5
Twelve Minutes plunges you deep into a murder mystery and twists time around you, resulting in compelling narrative gameplay.