Twelve Minutes: Indie magic with AAA production | Laptop Mag

Our Verdict

Twelve Minutes is a powerful, i-of-a-kind interactive thriller that sticks with yous. If you lot can look by the clunky controls, this is an crawly addition to Xbox Game Pass that is over all besides soon.


  • Gripping story
  • Fantastic performances
  • Unique visual way
  • Looping and learning is addictive, just…


  • …can feel repetitive at times
  • Clunky point-and-click controls
  • Short

Laptop Mag Verdict

Twelve Minutes is a powerful, 1-of-a-kind interactive thriller that sticks with you lot. If you tin can look by the clunky controls, this is an awesome add-on to Xbox Game Pass that is over all too before long.


  • +

    Gripping story

  • +

    Fantastic performances

  • +

    Unique visual manner

  • +

    Looping and learning is addictive, but…


  • …tin feel repetitive at times

  • Clunky point-and-click controls

  • Brusk

Created by Luis Antonio, Twelve Minutes is a point-and-click thriller with a uncomplicated premise — a homo trapped in a time loop and does everything possible to prevent his married woman from being arrested (or worse). Equally the story unravels, you’ll find that the unexpectedly shocking plot would leave fifty-fifty legends like Kubrick and Hitchcock applauding.

Better yet, the Hollywood bandage of Daisy Ridley, James Mcavoy and Willem Dafoe assistance bring an impressive level of polish to this passion project, which has been seven years in the making..

Does it live upwardly to the hype? Allow’south find out.

Stuck in a fierce Groundhog Twenty-four hour period

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

On the face up of it, as nosotros’ve already mentioned, Twelve Minutes has an like shooting fish in a barrel-to-grasp story at the offset. You lot are a man trapped in a time loop that lasts for (yep, yous guessed information technology) 12 minutes. This loop involves yous having a romantic evening with your wife, which is interrupted by a cop who accuses your wife of murder. Each loop gives you the run a risk to do things differently and bear upon the consequence of what happens.

As you lot would expect from any thriller, all is not what it seems and every twist and turn of the story consists of eye-opening discoveries and gut-wrenching reveals. Ane affair is for sure: much like in the classics Luis takes inspiration from (like Memento and The Shining), you won’t see whatever of these twists coming.

Twelve Minutes

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

And this impressive, thoroughly detailed plot is delivered by incredible performances from the cast. The blend of believable dialogue and true-to-life move capture makes everything feel human, no matter how dire the outcomes.

Underpinned by a unique, highly polished visual style and soundtrack that punctuates each beat of the story with an evocative drama, the whole formula makes for a game that is very difficult to put downwards until you reach the end credits.

Looper de looper

Much similar the story, the gameplay is deceptively simple — it is a point-and-click mystery with dialogue trees and an inventory all inside the claustrophobic surround of a one-bedroom apartment.

Twelve Minutes

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

The magic comes in the loop-based experimentation and the level of freedom granted to y’all as the player. Any time yous find yourself request “can I practise this?” The answer is almost always “yes.” This human approach to option exceeding the standard logic tree formulaic approach of other games would not exist possible in a larger setting.

Sometimes the loops become well. You stumble across a soft, heartwarming moment delivered with expert emotional precision past the acting duo of Ridley and McAvoy, which leads to a asset of a clue.

But in that same vein, it tin can all go so wrong and the consequences can be harrowing. That freedom to do what you desire tin take you lot down some immensely dark paths, which yous eventually wander because Twelve Minutes encourages trying everything.

Twelve Minutes

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Any happens in the end, you lot’ll acquire something — whether it’s finding a key item, a sure line of dialogue, or even a path that results in failure, you accept what you learn and put it all together to take yous to the next big reveal.

The sense of achievement in watching these play out is great and proves Luis is onto something with this recipe. I’d just love to come across more of it, as you tin can achieve the credits quite quickly.

In a memento…

Of course, channeling a archetype format similar this does come with problems. Namely, with a controller; in that location’south no getting around how clunky information technology feels. With a mouse, the game plays great, but you are slowed down considerably with an analogue stick.

Twelve Minutes

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Not but that, but the mystique of Twelve Minutes can work against the playability at times. For example, ways to skip frontwards in time or reset the loop are built into the game itself.

At first, they seem quite clever. You memorize a list of things to do to get your desired upshot and so lay on the bed to make fourth dimension laissez passer once you lot’ve completed them all. Or if you mess up, yous can walk out the front end door and reset the loop. But somewhen, the sheen wears off and the investment needed to get to scenes you’ve repeatedly attempted starts to get abrasive.

Twelve Minutes

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Sure, shortcuts to certain parts become bachelor through new opportunities and dialogue options, but I’d love to come across some automation to bypass some of the laborious repetition. That will assist the gameplay get out of the way of the story, rather than making bigger moments feel similar checkbox exercises.

I can capeesh the want to brand this all experience similar part of the lore and I’m certain some people will praise this all-encompassing approach to gameplay. But sometimes a game needs to exist a game and give you clear options to echo loops if you slip upwardly, jump dorsum to key points, and non have your time for granted — peculiarly in the final few scenes when the patience for post-obit a complex list of actions tin wear sparse.

Bottom line

You can feel the passion in this project — kicking effectually in Luis’ head and condign a reality over the class of several years since the epitome in 2022.

The result is an interactive thriller unlike annihilation you’ve played, for meliorate and for worse. Twelve Minutes is an enthralling story with indie intrigue told through lofty AAA product values and brilliant performances from Ridley, McAvoy and Dafoe.

Twelve Minutes

(Paradigm credit: Annapurna Interactive)

But this new and heady feel is hampered past clunky controls and its own real-time looping construct. In these moments, the gameplay gets in the way and can feel a bit frustrating. Plus, in a flake of praise disguised equally a complaint, it’s over all besides soon. I’d love to see what the squad cooks up past applying this formula to a diversity of scenarios because this brief glimpse is short-lived.

Twelve Minutes isn’t for everyone, but fans of the genre are in for an unforgettable treat.

 Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his part as a author at Laptop Mag. He specializes in finding the best deals to brand sure y’all never pay more you should for gadgets! Jason takes a particular interest in writing and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you’ll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking near eating pizza if he isn’t already.


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