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12 Minutes – Time Is Of The Essence

12 Minutes is published by Annapurna Interactive and was released on August 19, 2021 for Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. It also released on December 7, 2021 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PS5.

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, onto the review. This will be rather short because I can’t say much without spoiling the games incredible story. That being said, this is an easy recommendation as I believe it will surprise you and likely rank in your top games of the year.


As the title suggests, the story is about time. A man is stuck in a time loop and has 12 minutes to figure out how to get out of it before his day restarts and the clocks start counting down again.

The story itself is full of surprising twists and turns that you won’t see coming. Some will make you smile, some may make you tear up, and some will make you appreciate what you have, especially time. I honestly can’t say much more about the story without spoiling a great deal of it.

The voice acting is pretty great; with the great Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin in Spider-Man) as one of the characters so the game greatly benefits from his amazing acting skills. I recognized his voice immediately and knew I was in for an impressive experience.

The game is roughly 4-5 hours in length so you can finish it in a single sitting and that’s the way it should be played. It’s not meant to be a long adventure game to occupy your life but a short and sweet adventure that really deserves your time.

World Building

The art style is appealing and the top-down perspective works rather well for this style of game. This type of game was all new to me but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s very welcoming to newcomers and easy to pick up and play.

The tempo of the music changes when you make certain decisions. The music and tone is pretty solid. You don’t see much beyond the apartment you’re stuck in because you’re stuck in this time loop.

Whenever the day starts over, you immediately get teleported to the front door again and the main character has an emotional reaction to what has transpired in the previous loop.


This is the meat and potatoes of the experience. You make tons of choices that have sometimes immediate consequences and ones that may take a while to have an effect. When they eventually do, that moment of realization is powerful.

Again, you can make very impactful decisions throughout each loop and it can effect future loops. There are several different endings and it seems rather difficult to get a good ending but that’s part of the fun. It really makes you work to reach an enjoyable outcome.

Admittedly, you may tire of the repetitive nature of the game but you know what you’re signing up for when playing this game. The game is literally about starting the same day over and over again. There are minor changes each time but overall it’s the same day in slightly different ways until the end. It’s best to have an open mind when playing.


I had no expectations when I started 12 Minutes but I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. It’s quite a memorable one too. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ranks up there in my top games of the year and that’s saying something with all of the great games that have come out this year. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something short and sweet to play.

Verdict: 8 – Great


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