Twelve Minutes is a title that I have been wanting to check out since it dropped last year. Being a huge fan of suspense storytellers like Hitchcock, Kubrick and Verhoeven; this trippy, dark, time-bending mystery game looked right up my street. Recently, I finally got the chance to check this thing out and I am pleased to report that it did not disappoint.
The best way to describe Twelve Minutes without giving too much away, is using an oxymoronic phrase; this game is simple, yet complex. Upon first glance, the game is made up of nothing more than three characters, three rooms, around fifty clickable objects and a whole lot of intrigue.
It is only once the player spends the time going through the motions of at least a couple of twelve-minute time loops, that the sheer number of layers in Twelve Minutes begin to reveal themselves. Whilst some of these layers are revealed through actions which can be performed by the player, the majority of them are revealed via dialogue between the game’s characters.
Without an engaging script, Twelve Minutes would be a pretty monotonous experience. Thankfully, Luis Antonio and Steve Lerner have managed to craft something which is as much of a slow-burn reveal, as it is gripping, edge-of-your-seat material. If Twelve Minutes was a novel, it would be a page-turner which would be impossible to put down.
It also helps that the three characters in the game are played expertly by three talented actors respectively. The player-character is voiced by James McAvoy, who perfectly encapsulates the frustrating helplessness of his situation. Daisy Ridley plays the Wife and does a great job of playing a character who is clearly hiding something.
However, Willem Dafoe’s brilliantly menacing performance as the Cop is undoubtedly the standout performance in the game. The amount of impending peril that Dafoe can bring to a scene using nothing more than his voice is truly remarkable. That said, he also possesses the performing range to explore the spectrum of emotions displayed by the Cop as the mystery continues to deepen.
Twelve Minutes is obviously a very simple game on a visual level. Whilst the lighting is nice, the character models and movement animations are pretty rudimentary, with some of the animations looking reminiscent of those seen in The Sims. But the visuals are not the point in Twelve Minutes. The simplicity of the game’s visuals do the job just fine and never serve as a distraction to the intriguing plot, therefore I have absolutely no issue with them.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Twelve Minutes. I am not sure if I can see myself playing through it again, as once the player learns the reveal, there isn’t much reason to replay the thing. However, it was still a fun, fairly unique experience and the concept for a game of this style is clever.
It is certainly one of the most memorable point-and-click adventures that I have ever played through and at the reduced asking price which the game is currently being sold for, recommending it is a no-brainer. Particularly if you happen to be a fan of classic suspense thriller, as Twelve Minutes is essentially one big love letter to that entire sub-genre of storytelling.
Twelve Minutes was reviewed on PS5 with a code provided by fortyseven communications.