12 Minutes Reviews
Twelve Minutes is an exemplary example of how a beautiful idea gradually tramples itself into the ground. And you can see it all with your own eyes. An initially intriguing concept of a time loop turns into repetitive gameplay that often uses trial-and-error techniques and a story that, while enjoyable, doesn't make sense. Telling a story in the space of a tiny apartment is an ambitious idea, as is the concept of a time loop. But instead of telling a solid and straightforward story, the creator tries to create an ending that will wipe your eyes. And it does. But not in a positive way. Twelve Minutes is thus a mediocre game that can hardly claim to be worth your time.
Review in Czech | Read full review
Twelve Minutes starts off well but eventually descends into chaos. The game’s premise of trying to rewrite 12 minutes of a couple’s time is a great idea but the execution varies in success. Twelve Minutes starts well with a convincing story loop and gameplay that makes sense. Unfortunately that story loop becomes confused with a controversial twist that muddies timelines and morals. Gameplay starts to lean heavily into trial and error and some will give up before they see some of the later outcomes. Those that persist will likely remain confused. Luis Antonio seemingly had a lot of ambition with this one, but it hasn’t completely paid off.
Ultimately, we found 12 Minutes to be a trite adventure that squanders its initial intrigue almost instantly. We can see how someone else might get a kick out of its star-studded silliness, but in a gaming landscape littered with time loop games, we found this one extremely tedious at best.
Twelve Minutes is an essential game for lovers of film. Developer Luis António translates his understanding of cinema to create something genuinely deserving of being called an “interactive thriller.” Although it can be frustrating being stuck on what to do next, this is an adventure game drenched in atmosphere and mystery, and you’ll have a hell of a time with it.
I really wanted to like Twelve Minutes, but by playing through it multiple times I've come to understand that in order for the timeloop to concept to really work in videogames, it needs time to breathe - both in physical game world terms and also in the various elements that it requires players to solve and master in order to progress. As it is, Twelve Minutes is an undeniably stylish looking and sounding thriller that finds itself summarily undone by poor writing, unwieldy controls and a shoddily frustration execution of its overarching timeloop concept. A shame.
James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe do an absolutely fantastic job at bringing the three main characters to life but even they can’t lift the frustration and tedium of having to repeat the same actions over and over again. Unfortunately, by the time you finally figure out how to change the outcome of the loop, the ending will make you wonder if it was even worth it.
I'm certainly happy to have played through it, but with its late arrival on Switch I also feel like I expected more from it, in terms of both quality and shock value. The fact remains, though, Twelve Minutes is a strong mystery game that fans of story-focused experiences will likely enjoy. It doesn't hurt that Willem Dafoe is a national treasure, either.
Script had all it needs to turn into something memorable, but due to the ending it gets so confusing that soon will be forgotten
Review in Greek | Read full review
Twelve minutes of creative gameplay and fascinating story, but it soon becomes boring.
Review in Persian | Read full review
Definitely one of the most interesting, intriguing, fresh detective games in recent years, but I can't shake the feeling that all the possibilities of a well-thought-out formula are not being used.
Review in Russian | Read full review
A Groundhog Day-inspired time-loop murder mystery situated entirely in a humble, three-room New York City apartment, featuring a regular couple and a menacing detective that comes knocking. Do you have what it takes to push through the monotony and learn the truth?
A premise that had me at hello, but a game which I couldn't wait to finish. It's a puzzler with high production values but it doesn't hit the right beats and consequently suffers for it.
Twelve Minutes' time loop puzzle is layered and weird, but its short time limit doesn't find the sweet spot between tense and frustrating.
Twelve minutes has an interesting gameplay concept. However its story is built on one shocking unraveling that lacks any depth and makes us go through pointless violence to cure a different trauma.
Review in Slovak | Read full review
Sadly, 12 Minutes’ sudden fall into the absurd during the final act leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Twelve Minutes is a thought-provoking, intriguing puzzler. There’s a reliance on trial-and-error, even in purposeful repetition that felt painful to deal with. This resulted in reaching points of frustration often, which made the four or so hours feel that much longer. That said, I was compelled to see it through as each new discovery was made. As bizarre as it was, the ending has a swerve I didn’t see coming that I came to enjoy. The game is at its best when either the things you make a guess about or deduce, just work out, and your loop pushes things forward. If you can endure the obtuse design of its puzzles for the unraveling narrative, Twelve Minutes might just be worth playing.
I imagine this will be a title that enthusiasts will speculate on and theorize over for a long while, while others will pass on it in frustration as it leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Although not totally satisfying, I’m glad I played it, and I think for the right person, this is a rewarding and thought-provoking adventure.
Twelve Minutes is clearly not made for the general public. The experience it offers is very unique, exciting and extremely immersive, but not very fun. For those interested in fully immersing themselves in a unique time-loop story, Twelve Minutes is sure to be a treat. However, the game will hardly please those who are simply looking for a good game to pass the time.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Twelve Minutes starts off strong and pulls you in with an intriguing premise and interesting gameplay loop but is let down by a poorly executed shock twist, finicky controls, and occasionally obtuse puzzle design.
There are, of course, multiple endings, and the minutes leading up to each resolution can be flavoured with violence and revelation, or laced with deceit. The question is: Do we care?