Has there ever been a moment in your life that you wish you could relive if you had the chance? If so, then chances are you are not the only one. Today we are going to be taking a dive into a new game from publisher Annapurna Interactive, Twelve Minutes.
WARNING!!! This review may/will contain spoilers, of sorts, so please be aware should you decide to continue reading. You have been warned!!!
Let Us Begin
Twelve Minutes is a single-player thriller/adventure game and was released a little under a week ago on the 19th August. Directed by Luîs António and published by the before mentioned Annapurna Interactive, it is currently available on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X.
What is Twelve Minutes, you ask? Well, have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? To me it is essentially just that but in a video game format. The aim of the game is to keep reliving a twelve-minute section until you find a way to break the loop.
There are only three characters in the entire game: a husband, a wife and a cop, voiced respectively by none other than James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe, whom you may recognize, again respectively, from the films Wanted and X-Men, Star Wars, and Spider-Man. The game starts you off outside of a small, one-bedroom apartment, where you get a very brief tutorial of the controls. The controls themselves are very basic and extremely to use (I played the game on the Xbox Series S), and they consist of using A to interact with objects, using the bumpers to select items you’ve collected, and in combination with holding the A button, you use the left thumb stick to drag one item to another in order to combine them. See? I told you they were basic.
Back to Basics
Let’s start this off as if you have yet to play. As previously mentioned, you begin outside of an apartment, where you are instructed to interact with a plant and find a key to enter. You are then greeted by your wife as she exits the bathroom. You choose to sit and have a conversation with her. Obviously nothing like real life, am I right, guys? I’M JOKING! Please don’t tell my wife I said that LOL!
Anyway, back to it. You sit and chat, then decide to eat dessert. You collect it from the fridge and set it on the table. A few minutes pass by, and there’s a bang on the door. A cop? What does a cop want at this hour? Your wife then gets up to answer the clearly frustrated officer.
He then comes barging in and arrests your wife for the murder of her father eight years ago. The officer then turns and arrests you. The screen goes black briefly, and you wake up at the beginning of the evening.
And that’s pretty much it. The vast majority of your time will be spent guessing with no real idea of whether or not you are going in the right direction. And most of the puzzle elements within I found very tedious and frustrating, for the most part, with things rarely being made clear if you are doing them correctly.
From the Top, People
If we take into account most of today’s video games, I would say this game’s visuals are slightly above average, its main focus being on the top-down view, which can be a tad clunky and irritating at times.
There are several different outcomes you can obtain upon completion in the form of achievements. This does very little in the way the ending pans out for the player though, much in the same way that if you were to solve world hunger and be given a cookie for your efforts.
The concept for the game in general is awesome but has been executed poorly, in my personal opinion. I finished my first playthrough of Twelve Minutes in three to four hours, though it is listed as having an average gameplay time of six to eight hours. Feels more like twelve minutes to me…
Is That Really It?
So, unless you happen to be a trophy/achievement hunter who needs that 100%…for myself, it leaves very little to no replay value at all. If you’re paying up to £25 for a game (depending on your currency), then you would expect to get more than three hours of average gameplay out of it.
Clearly, most of the budget must have been spent on the Hollywood voice actors. All in all, I started Twelve Minutes with an open mind but was left disappointed at the end, a lot like some of my ex-girlfriends.
Has there ever been a moment in your life that you wish you could relive if you had the chance? If so, then chances are you are not the only one…..see what I did there?
Developer: Luis Antonio
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
Release Date: 19th August 2021
Gaming Respawn’s copy of Twelve Minutes was provided by the publisher.