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The latest game from Annapurna Interactive, Last Stop, had a mixed reception due to various shortcomings. Still, its next title on the list has generated great expectations and hype that few company games have achieved. Yes, I speak of Twelve Minutes, a mystery title that was released during August and is available on Xbox Game Pass and the Steam store.
Annapurna Interactive is an independent game distribution company that has released great titles throughout its short history, such as What Remains of Edith Finch, Gone Home, Florence and Outer Wilds. Thanks to its extremely original games and with a unique care, it has become one of the favorite companies of fans of the indies and modern video games in general. Playing an Annapurna title is a guarantee that we will enjoy an experience that, although it generally lasts no more than a weekend, will leave us completely satisfied and with a smile.
Will it achieve Twelve Minutes become a cult indie like What Remains of Edith Finch Or will it be forgotten? Is it worth enjoying through Xbox Game Pass or is it a waste of time? Join me to find out in this review.
Spell of time
Let’s start with the story. Twelve Minutes is a game written and developed by Luis Antonio, creator of the art of The Witness, the great title of Jonathan Blow. Twelve Minutes is about a man caught in a time loop.
What seemed like a lovely evening with your wife ends with a strange cop breaking into your apartment, subjugating your wife, and beating your character to death to return to the moment you entered your home. It reminded me of famous movies like Groundhog Day O Source Code.
Perhaps this review seems strange to you, because delving into many details could ruin the game for you, since the story is what is worth the most and unraveling it by deciphering the steps to follow is a large part of the joke of the game, so do not worry and continue reading: you won’t find spoilers.
What is worth mentioning is that the voices of the 3 main characters in Twelve Minutes They are recorded by Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy and Willem Dafoe. All 3 make it excellent and give each individual a good personality with their voice acting.
A point-and-click that will make you bring out the detective inside you
Twelve Minutes It works like a modern point-and-click, so basically your task will be to move a cursor, click on an object or person and select the action to perform, if there is more than one. Or by clicking on some point you can move the main character. That is all. It is a genre originally intended to be played on a PC but the truth is that playing it on Xbox does not complicate anything or make the experience worse.
The game takes place inside your apartment and you will have a view from above, as if you were looking at the plans of the place, although checking some details will change the view towards a wall, a compartment or elements of the style. As with any point-and-click, you have an inventory of the things you collect.
Of course, be prepared to pay attention, read each word and think thoroughly what each object could be used for. The good news is that it has subtitles in Spanish from Mexico, so you will have no problem understanding the dialogues.
The interesting thing about Twelve Minutes is that you will have to use all your detective skills to advance in the story. The first time I felt that there was a whole world of things to discover in the department, for, a couple of loops later, I felt that I was no longer moving forward and I was running out of ideas. Later, with some small discovery, a sea of possibilities was reopened and my task was to try them all, no matter how absurd they seemed. Of course, it won’t always work out what you come up with or sometimes it will lead you to a dead end or a resolution you already knew, but other times the game will make you feel like a genius when you make progress. The joke is not to give up and keep trying. Although Twelve Minutes It is for a single player, I think it is a great experience to share with your partner or with a friend who is a fan of mystery, a good story, a good movie or video games in general.
You can discover new things that make you advance in various ways: searching everywhere and clicking everything you can, combining items or by simple chance. Sometimes the actions have all the logic, for example, if you find a screwdriver and there is something you can unscrew. Your task will be to use all the information that you extract. To take a hypothetical example, let’s say you prepare a coffee with sugar for your wife and when she drinks it, she asks you why it is sweet and you find out that she is diabetic. And that can be useful to you in the next loop.
A short but detailed indie
The graphics deliver, although not impressive, but they are everything you could expect from a well done indie with a good art direction. I ran into some animation bugs or the classic character running through another, but it was very little and it didn’t ruin the experience or take me out of the dive.
On the other hand, the music complements the plot, mystery, and voice acting very well.
As for the duration, it varies a lot depending on who plays it and how good a detective you are, but estimate between 6 and 10 hours.
Twelve Minutes shows that video games are a medium that can satisfy different types of audiences and tell stories in various ways. Just as there are titles that test your ability with control and reflexes, there are also options focused on transmitting a story that anyone can enjoy in a creative way and with a different interactivity. Games like Twelve Minutes they are always good news, since they consolidate the medium as an art.
In conclusion, Twelve Minutes It’s everything a fan of mystery, indies, and video games with a good story could ask for. Although some small mistakes keep him from glory, Twelve Minutes It shows why video games can be a great option to tell a story like movies cannot. Great voice acting, creative decisions and an original gameplay that will have you trapped even while you are not playing, thinking of all the options that you can use to keep moving forward, make it something unique. It’s exactly the kind of experience I’m looking for on Xbox Game Pass.
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Game Review 12 Minutes