Twelve Minutes: 720 Seconds

Azeiza Hamza
5 min readNov 19, 2021

When choosing which game to play, I thought I would enjoy Twelve Minutes because of the time loop aspect. I’m so happy I was right. There were so many twists and I never knew what to expect. I had a lot of fun playing and would recommend it to everyone.

I’ll start with what I didn’t like and then get into what I did. I feel like the characters could be very annoying or stubborn at times. I understand it makes the characters more realistic but I ended up hating everyone.

I started disliking the wife after only a few loops, I found the way she would dodge questions and lie frustrating. I would ignore her if I could or only interact to get answers. She would consistently lie and it made no sense because these characters have been together for eight years and were about to have a child, what did the lying accomplish?

I also hated how wishy-washy and unreasonable the cop was. Also, I still don’t know if he was a real cop or not. He had a revolver but he could have gotten that at a gun store so who knows. He was merciless in killing the two characters and refused to listen to reason.

However, when I had shocked him and zip-tied him, he was pleading for his life and promising he wouldn’t hurt us. Maybe he was lying to save his life or maybe he’s just pathetic in that circumstance, who knows.

Something I didn’t necessarily hate but annoyed me was how confusing the timeline was. I sat there trying to understand but I couldn’t even after I was done with the game. I was under the impression the wife “killed” the dad around Christmas and ran away and met the husband for the first time around New Year.

However, the father said the two of them had been dating and it turns out the husband is the one who killed the father. So that would mean the two of them were already dating before the father was killed. Also, he didn’t seem to be moving in a way that was consistent with the gunshot he would have after the wife shot him.

In addition, how did he have amnesia? I saw that he hit his head, but then when he came to, why was he not confused about the dead/dying body beside him? He didn’t call 911 or stick around for answers. Did he just forget about the entire situation? But if that’s the case, then how did he remember his girlfriend? It really made no sense to me and I feel like after all the work, money, and time I put into the game, I deserved more clear answers.

Another thing I didn’t hate but wasn’t a fan of was the graphics. I did like the game mechanic where we have a birds-eye view until we click on something and see it straight on. But I feel like because the characters were so cartoon-ish and we never saw their faces, I didn’t connect with them. I hated the cop, the wife, and as for the main character, I only liked him because he listened to what I made him do. But I understand that the game developers had a vision and they probably thought the way they designed the game was best.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like the game, but I actually loved it. The concept of time travel and time loops have always been so fascinating to me and I feel like the game did a good job. I do dislike how they didn’t explain HOW the time loop started. I know it might have something to do with the weather because of how much it was emphasized. Also, I feel like stormy weather is always involved with time travel haha.

I also loved how there were many different ways to find answers and clues. I looked up how other people played the game when I was completely done and apparently you’re supposed to hide in the closet before the wife sees and that’s how you find the location of the watch. I just found it by accident and luck because I was opening all the vents.

I also appreciated how many hidden things there were, like the morse code painting. I thought it would have a bigger impact on the story but apparently, it’s just a message for players. I also liked how the paintings in the living room changed. Unfortunately, I didn’t unlock every single achievement but maybe if I ever replay the game I will.

The big twist, that the husband and wife are half-siblings surprised me but also didn’t. I had started suspecting it which I wrote about in one of my journals. I just thought it was suspicious that we knew nothing about the husband we were playing as. Once the cop said the nanny had a flowery name, I knew I was correct.

I will say, I liked how the pocket watch was the key to everything and could actually allow us to time travel in the end. It was cool seeing how the father's death scene happened.

I also loved the clock imagery and how images of clock hands moving forward and backward were used throughout the game. In addition, I liked how the opening screen would sometimes say MINE or LIES. It was a cool little detail.

Honestly, I blame both the father and husband for the entire mess. If the father hadn’t cheated, the husband would never have been born. But also, it begs the question of why did the husband stay with the wife all those years if he knew they were siblings? But I guess in the original loop he didn’t know because of his amnesia. It was all very strange.

One thing I was disappointed about was not getting final answers. I want to know if the wife married someone else, if the cop found money for his daughter's treatments, and if the father is still alive. Also, I’d been playing as the main character the entire time and to not see how his life ended up was disappointing. Did he ever find love? Does he talk to the father? Does the wife know the truth or does she just think her ex ghosted her? What’s his life like? Where’s the pocket watch now?

Even after playing, I don’t know the deeper meaning of the game. It could be a commentary on life and how you don’t have any chance of a redo. Maybe it was just a fun game about time loops and family secrets? The message could even revolve around how desperate people can be, like the cop murdering for his daughter and the husband staying with the wife despite knowing the truth. Who knows.

Overall, Twelve Minutes was a super fun and interesting game about time loops and human nature. I would recommend it to all. It’s also taught me an important lesson.

Twelve minutes pass by quickly when death is at your door. So use every single second, all 720 of them.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash