Twelve Minutes, Review. Caught In The Mini-day Of The Earth


Abandon the urgency of the games at this point and click adventure which is also a solvent thriller locked in an infinitely short loop.

Annapurna Interactive he returns to the burden with his normal due to various games and personality. Luis Antonio shows us the Portuguese in Twelve minutes cook thriller spatially and temporarily. Apartment, three characters and a short time loop to save and save oneself. Let’s see how the little box of surprises works.

There are a number of things that illustrate the importance and weight of the author’s film culture in his work Twelve Minutes. Of course, the first thing that catches your eye is his elegant poster in the style of the people made by Saul Bass (Vertigo, Murder Anatomy …). But there is more, much more. As soon as we start playing we see a hall zenith plane. Our character has just got off the elevator and is going to his apartment. For any filmmaker, it is an influence to recognize that the carpet we walk through has the same patterns as the one that arranged the floors of the Overlook Hotel in El Resplandor. In those first seconds of the game, Luis Antonio is already telling us a few things: cinema, Kubrick, tension, suspense, unhealthy detail and mathematical accuracy being planned and developed … That the rest of the action between the walls of our apartment reveals when we are trapped there reveals the thoughtful choice of something that we will only see for a few seconds.

Cinema as a starting point

Surprising too choice of actors to give the characters a voice. We’re talking about celebrities in today’s cinema. Veteran William Dafoe, which we have already seen in Beyond: two souls from Quantic Dream and whose performance in the film El Faro remains to be seen; Daisy ridley, the Rey from the latest Star Wars trilogy; Y. James mcavoy, Dr. Xavier brought freshness to the Xmen franchise by bringing the First Generation of Mutants. Well, we say this investment is surprising because the vision of the game is always from an overhead plane. There are no recognizable faces, the actors worked with their voice, with their interpretation. Aside from the quality of existing performances, cinema here is a media demand rather than a storytelling, thematic or background influence. Of course, those names work well in the initial credits.

The Eye of God (or the most avian eye sight A), before it was a cinematographic resource, was the name given to the cartography of enemy territory from World War II planes, but also to the aerial recordings of bombings about troops and cities. He was the observer of these images that God does not intervene in the plight of men.

In the cinema we could first apply this technique at the beginning of the film Nicolas Ray They Live by Night (1948), which showed a quick escape in a criminal car, filming from a helicopter. The Eye of God was best used in many of his films by Alfred Hitchcock, with Psychosis and Vertigo as distinguished examples. The above scenarios fit Twelve Minutes’ assumptions when trying express tension and suspension. But there is another secret to using this technique in the cinema. Martin Scorsese, for example, created a cool detachment from the action in the exciting end of Taxi Driver, which Miami’s HotLine games drink directly with its aseptic and lack of empathy ultravioletism.

As for videotapes, zenith’s perspective has been a genre in its own right since its inception. Like other resources such as lateral perspective, subjective vision and the use of the shooting sequence, they are attributes and game approaches that are assimilated to the medium beyond pure storytelling. In Twelve Minutes the ingenuity is more film than video play. As in the end of Taxi Driver, the initial sense creates a distance from the characters. In the game, while we control the actions of a main character, we know nothing about him or his life. Thus, a certain balance is shown between film language and interactive language. As we get into the story and it begins to depend on us to take advantage of the knowledge we are getting from the situation, the balance almost goes almost entirely to the video game … Although not entirely. : if the cold that Scorsese shows in Taxi Drivers is abandoned, it leads to the strong tension of the Hitchcock cinema as we move forward.

And the video game as development and as coming: The hope of God becomes the hope of man

In the famous book The cinema according to Hitchcock, the teacher revealed to his young interviewer, the great French director Francois Truffaut, the difference between surprise and suspense. Imagine a room with two people chatting around a table. The filmmaker reflects on the action from his seat. After a short while, a bomb explodes under the table, killing the characters and leaving the audience unharmed. That is the surprise. Let’s see the same situation but first telling the respectable that a bomb under the table is going to explode in a few minutes. The audience will be alive in tension all the time, stirring in their seats, shouting at the screen or at themselves: Get out of there, a bomb is about to explode! That is suspension. Also, Twelve minutes in the first cycle of his loops and suspensions in each other are surprising. He finds the most valuable part of the teachings of a British sailor. Adapting Hitchcock’s conclusion to our terrain would be something like this:

Learning repetition is intrinsic to video games. These force us to constantly try new actions, memorize parameters, fail and correct errors in the next game. This is reminiscent of the Twelve Minutes game, but it relies on a film in the collective memory, Trapped in Time, commonly known as Groundhog Day. This acknowledgment of the game’s creator told us how a character revived the same day. We attend the endless tests that the main character performs, first to escape the loop and, having assumed his perennial situation, to try out all the possibilities that come his way. As passive viewers we watch for an hour and a half all those actions that the main character performs after the script is written. But What happens when we, the active players, are the victims of the loop?

What intrinsic repetitive action of the video game agrees to be used as a typical cinema story self-awareness of the character of the game, like the main character of Groundhog Day, of the loop in which he is locked. Mario does not wonder why he died in his last act, which is done by the player who controls him. On the contrary, Link Majora Mask aligns itself with whoever is in charge. Both the character and the player are aware of the limited time, from its constant restart, to making mistakes and correcting to ending an eternal loop.

Twelve Minutes is long overdue. We can find an hour long demo video on YouTube on the Giant Bomb channel. Dated in 2015, we can see a fairly loud game there that already shows the keys to what we get in the title released by Annapurna. We do not know what has happened in the last six years, how it took twelve minutes to see the light, but we do know that. the idea was before it was more ambitious. Following the pattern consciously set by Trapped in Time, the playing field was initially much wider, the time was much larger and the number of characters matched those two parameters. Luis understood the complexity of that first idea and began to refine it to manageable margins within his possibilities.

Apartment with living room / kitchen, bedroom and bathroom; a marriage, which is being celebrated, which is interrupted by the arrival of a violent policeman who is willing to arrest the woman from an old murder case. Twelve minutes in which the action takes place and always ends in tragedy. Twelve minutes to unravel the mystery behind everything. Of course, we are not going to say more about the argument. We would ignore the author and you, potential future users of the game. What is remarkable at this point is delicacy of the abusive repetition that can occur in such a short time.

On the one hand, we believe that the reduction in initial ambitions benefits the game. It becomes more personal, more intimate, yes, but above all more effective in its mechanics, more focused. The game avoids distraction by opening up to our inquiries and developing knowledge of the context, of the opening avenues of action, of the possibilities we are seeing.. It does not slow down by restarting every ten minutes, on the contrary, it accelerates, it is stressed, it recommends. Since everything is so measured and atomized, each game is fundamentally different with some essential points in common. We eat quietly here as I try to bring the conversation to my place, then I get the little time I have to search the house from top to bottom.

Working with ease is the mechanics of life, death, repetition

So a very variable length, although this does not exceed a few hours. And that’s okay, because going beyond what is necessary would break your surprising ability to keep interest by avoiding the bored trap. The controller has no control over the Xbox One version, like the Series. Although it is well implemented, it is well known Point and click adventures, even especially with this one, were always handled better with mouse accuracy and speed (The game is also available on PC). Nonetheless, because it’s such a small game space where we get all the interactive elements early on, it doesn’t take long to become a problem.

THE BEST _____

  • It supports, through interaction, a strong cinematic influence.
  • Most of the time, it avoids the boredom of a bent mechanic.
  • He manages to convey an ongoing novelty despite his atomic and repetitive proposal … or precisely because of it.


  • It’s a point – and – click adventure, control on Xbox is slower and sharper than on PC.
  • You do not know how to progress and the game goes with you again and again with its ever-moving loop.



It meets the expectations of what makes a good game, has quality and has no serious flaws, though it lacks elements that can take it to higher levels.

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