Twelve Minutes officially arrives on Xbox Game Pass in just under 24 hours, and the first reviews have dropped today, giving us a chance to see what the initial verdict is like on the interactive thriller ahead of its release.
We've also had a chance to review the game, so we've included our Pure Xbox verdict below as well.
Here's what the critics are saying so far:
12 Minutes is the time-loop story reduced to its very essence. It is spare in length and small in scope, taking place almost entirely within a one-bedroom apartment. But that smallness contains narrative and mechanical multitudes that pay off consistently over the course of 12 Minutes' six-hour runtime."
Pure Xbox (8/10)
"Twelve Minutes is definitely worth a download with Xbox Game Pass if you're even the least bit interested in the premise, as both its story and gameplay combine to create a memorable thriller. There are a couple of downsides if you look for them, and the replayability factor will be pretty low after you've discovered everything, but we think you'll really enjoy your main playthrough regardless, even if you're not the biggest fan of point-and-click games."
"It’s difficult to convey my enthusiasm for Twelve Minutes’ time-loop mystery without discussing what happens at the end, but like Inside, I’d be doing you a grave disservice by giving anything away. What I can say is that the payoff is worth it, and the clever way in which writer-director Luis Antonio flips the traditional point-and-click adventure on its head makes for a compelling bit of unconventional storytelling that could only have worked as a game."
"Twelve Minutes is one of the most unashamedly dark and gripping narrative-driven games that I have played in years. Its narrative is packed with plenty of twists and turns and its talented all-star cast help to make its characters feel human and believable... That said, I don't think its trial and error nature will charm everybody and some of its puzzles can feel a little too cryptic and obscure."
Windows Central (7/10)
"Unfortunately, while the game has some neat tricks up its sleeve, it almost has too many tricks... Thanks to the time loop, the trial-and-error nature of it gets repetitive very fast. The game should take six to eight hours to complete, but it feels like an eternity. It feels as if you're constantly telling the game to hurry up."
PC Gamer (53/100)
"12 Minutes is an ambitious game for a small development team, but it ends up constrained by its main idea. I reached almost every solution by doing slightly different permutations of the same few actions, but with little of the creative reasoning or observation that better mystery games like Return of the Obra Dinn thrive on. Even when I did feel clever solving something, that satisfaction was dulled..."
The reviews across the board have been a bit all over the place so far, ranging from around the 5/10 mark to plenty of 8s and 9s. Metacritic has yet to provide an average, but Twelve Minutes currently has an OpenCritic 'Top Critic' average of 78, classing it as a 'Strong' title.
If you want to know more about Twelve Minutes ahead of its Xbox Game Pass release, including an exact release time on August 19, we've provided an exhaustive guide here at Pure Xbox to get you up to speed.
Will you be checking out Twelve Minutes on Xbox Game Pass this week? Let us know in the comments below.