12 Minutes is a fairly traditional point-and-click adventure game that takes place in one setting. Being a time-loop mystery, it is quite captivating. All of the puzzle objects are at the player’s disposal from the beginning, but they’ll need to be combined in different ways over the course of loop resets in order to unlock new information.
It’s a fresh twist on the genre and the storyline is good enough to get anyone playing through to discuss it with friends and family.
A room set up with a man, a woman, and an intruder where players interact with objects to discover the truth. This diabolical dive into the human psyche was developed by Luis Antonio and published by Annapurna Interactive on 19 Aug 2021.
The player starts as a nameless man coming home to a small apartment, where his wife greets warmly with a candlelit dessert and the surprise news that she is pregnant.
This happiness turns upside down fast when a few minutes later, a cop kicks down the door, accusing the wife of being a murderer, and kills him.
RESET! He reappears at the apartment door gasping for air and sees his wife greeting again.
12 Minutes is an ambitious game for a small development team and the gameplay can be very complicated at times.
It leaves players constantly playing to beat the clock as they have six minutes of real-time before the police officer barges into the apartment.
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The thrill of going through things around to find the right way to move forward is what makes this title interesting.
The dialogue between characters feels honest, reflecting the hustle in the situation accurately. Strong narrative and the star-studded cast of voice actors is an added advantage to the quest.
It is certainly fascinating to unravel the story driving forward as the title is full of manic surprises. A player would have to sit through several game-overs in order to finally get to the end. One may feel a strange sense of isolation while playing this game.
Though, in the end, the small setting and tight writing keep it all moving at a swift pace like a well-oiled machine in a factory.
Progress is entirely dependent on memorization and experimentation.
If you can remember the location of each key item in the setting and the core questions that need to be answered, nothing can stop you from advancing rapidly.
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However, mechanically, the game never goes quite as far as one wants. There are precise solutions to every puzzle and it expects you to figure them out chronologically. One can feel frustrated when an experiment does not work.
This decision-driven game got an honorable mention at the 2021 Tribeca Games Award. Major gaming world publications like Game Informer, GameSpot, and IGN gave this title positive reviews and rated it 8.5/10.
It received some backlash for the level of domestic violence involved in the plot.
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A respected source involved in development stated that the team working on it doubted the overall brutality aspects several times. Many players considered the twist ending terribly disturbing.
Lastly, 12 minutes is a must-play experience that mystery lovers would enjoy.