Virtual reality is finally getting the recognition it deserves. This year, Oculus Rift opened pre-orders for its Touch controllers, letting you bring your hands into the virtual world. HTC Vive lets you climb inside the world of a game, while Sony PlayStation VR offers a more accessible way to get involved. And the list goes on. All these options mean that we’re getting closer to being able to explore virtual worlds without a tether. But, as with any technology, there are minor issues. For instance, most virtual reality has restricted movement, with limited degrees of freedom—even when you move your entire body. And if you don’t have a complete set of VR-ready accessories, then you may find yourself stuck—in a time loop. ~~

Time loops are a common sci-fi trope, where time travels backwards in a loop, repeating over and over again. As a result, the same events are played out over and over again, and the loop usually involves a protagonist trapped in the loop trying to escape.

The following story has been around for as long as I can remember. People have been talking about it since the dawn of human history. The first written mention of the time loop myth was found in an article entitled, “How to Escape a Time Loop” and appeared in the July 27th, 1995 issue of Modern Mechanix and was written by Michael Smith. It really is a fascinating story, but it is time for it to move on.


Robby is obsessed with video games. When he isn’t playing them, he is either talking about them on social media or persuading others to take up a controller. He’s on the internet so often that he could almost… Continue reading

  • Twelve Minutes is a point-and-click adventure in which you find yourself trapped in a time loop (unless you find a way to get out of it)
  • James McAvoy, Willem Dafoe, and Daisy Ridley are among the cast members.
  • Every cycle will reveal additional parts of the narrative jigsaw, but keep an eye on the plot.


Twelve Minutes is a point-and-click thriller in which you find yourself trapped in a time loop again and over until you figure out the entire scope of the narrative and what you’ll have to do to get free.

Since first viewing the video in 2019, I’ve been fascinated by the project, both in terms of idea and aesthetic design, since the top-down camera is instantly distinctive and not something you see very frequently in narrative-driven games.

It crossed the thin line of already revealing too much, much like a movie trailer, and I’d want to avoid doing the same here, so consider this a caution if you want to go in fresh: although I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum, it’s better to skip beyond the narrative part.

The story

1629731977_954_Stuck-in-a-time-loopEvery excellent tale begins with a heinous crime.

You play as an unidentified husband, portrayed by James McAvoy, who returns home from work and seems to enjoy a typical, peaceful evening with his wife. There will be some small chat, a delectable dessert, and, if your cards are dealt well, some romantic dance.

However, a policeman suddenly knocks on the door. Whether you allow him in or not, he’ll ultimately get in and start screaming about a murder, which he claims was committed by your wife, and a missing pocket watch that seems to be worth a lot of money.

You may try to resist, but no matter what you do, he’ll knock you out or strangle you, causing a time loop that repeats the previous ten to twelve minutes. It’s up to you to learn more about the murder, the history of the pocket watch, and what it’ll take to break free.

1629731978_796_Stuck-in-a-time-loop That did not go according to plan… Please don’t interrupt the loop right now.

Each run will eventually fail, but if you play your cards correctly, you’ll get access to fresh knowledge that will help you succeed in your next try.

I won’t go into too much detail about the plot twists, but let’s just say that you won’t see some of them coming, mostly because they aren’t hesitant to bring up subjects that most people would find uncomfortable.

A star-studded cast

If you have a story-driven game with voice acting, having a celebrity-studded cast definitely helps market the game. That’s precisely what the primary three characters in Twelve Minutes do.

1629731978_868_Stuck-in-a-time-loopWillem Dafoe – Daisy Ridley – James McAvoy

Daisy Ridley, well known for her role as Rey in the new Star Wars trilogy, portrays your wife, who is accused of murdering her own father, but her reasons are unclear at first.

James McAvoy is an actor who initially caught my attention when he played young Charles Xavier in the X-Men remake. He portrays the spouse and is the sole character you will have influence over during the game.

Willem Dafoe, who is renowned for his gravelly voice and distinctive visage, plays the policeman and another part, although even revealing that would give away the game’s ultimate narrative surprise.

The action of the game

Surprisingly, before to beginning my first run, I had no clue what to anticipate in terms of gameplay. I’d seen a couple trailers during online events, and they definitely piqued my curiosity based on the premise and narrative, but I had no idea what I’d have to accomplish in the game.

I anticipated narrative options like to those found in a Telltale game, and they’re there here as well. The primary gameplay concept, though, is point-and-click puzzle solving, similar to what you may remember from old adventure games.

1629731979_770_Stuck-in-a-time-loopA perplexing puzzle…

You pick up things to add to your inventory, then mix them with other items in the environment or with interactable objects to see what occurs.

stumbling around

While using [ITEM] on [OBJECT] isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it does suit the game’s narrative emphasis well enough, and the fact that you have to use them in real-time adds a level of anxiousness that makes you feel more engaged. You’ll have to think about more than just “what” to utilize; you’ll also have to consider “when.”

It’s simply a pity that the implementation is a little clumsy. You must be cautious not to use an item on yourself by clicking on it, and you must keep the action button held while dragging it to someone or anything else. It’s a little uncomfortable at first, and you’re sure to make a mistake or two.

The top-down camera, on the other hand, seems quite new, as if you’re gazing inside a toy home after the roof has been removed. It also provides a clear birds-eye perspective of the surroundings and “most” of the essential things to interact with, although that will be discussed later.

Not in the right order

Because I’d watched the trailer, I walked into the game knowing what to expect, particularly that the policeman would attempt to murder me when he arrived. So, on my very first run, before even entering a time loop, I attempted to stab him with a kitchen knife. It concluded with me being knocked unconscious and the first loop beginning.

The problem is that Twelve Minutes acted as if I was repeating the activities for the second or third time, since it seemed to anticipate me to be more passive the first time. It’s extremely off-putting and pulls you out of the experience when things aren’t quite perfect, and it wasn’t the only time I had this problem.

While the game encourages you to explore, it also follows a rather predictable progression through the narrative. Twelve Minutes may give you strange lines or interactions that seem out of place for the current run if you do anything to disrupt the order it expects you to follow.

Other concerns

1629731979_593_Stuck-in-a-time-loop“There isn’t a Spoon in the House”

It’s worth noting that some advancement occurs only in your head, for you as the player. It’s critical to advance the game if you can find an essential object concealed “in the vent under the medicine cabinet.”

This portion of the game was difficult for me since the other two vents are visible while walking about, but this one is concealed until you examine the cabinet, and even then it is entirely out of your visual reach.

Just look at the screenshot above to notice how the bottom of the screen partially hides both the request to interact and the spoon I’m using to open the vent.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only technical problem I’ve had with the game; there was also a time when the policeman became stuck, walking in place, and my character was unable to move as a result. To get out of the soft lock, I had to stop the game.

Fortunately, this only occurred once, but the character animations often cut through things and each other in an odd-looking manner, and their robotic march to preset “trigger” places frequently shattered my immersion.

1629731980_111_Stuck-in-a-time-loopWhat if there was a method to go back in time?

A note about accomplishments: The game contains a total of 12 achievements, but if you want to earn all of them, you’ll need to use a guide. You must carry out certain tasks at specific times. I didn’t care for the list and am not really driven to complete the missing 10 by following an online step-by-step tutorial.

Twelve Minutes: Final Thoughts

Pros For videogames, time loops are still a great idea. The top-down viewpoint seems new to the genre, and the player’s time is respected by the useful fast forward option. Cons It’s difficult to predict what will be required of you next. There are a few nagging issues and sequence mistakes. It becomes tedious to repeat the same activities over and again.

Final Rating: 3.5/5

Twelve Minutes is a daring game that doesn’t shy away from controversial themes. As long as you figure out what the game wants you to do next, the game’s core time loop mechanism exposes fresh information with each subsequent run. The point-and-click action may be clunky at times, and there are a few sequence-breaking mistakes, but if you can get beyond those flaws, you’ll be rewarded with a new story with a star-studded cast. Definitely worth a look, particularly if you have Xbox Game Pass.

Twelve Minutes is $24.99 on Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S, and is available now. I played it on Xbox Series X with a controller, but I have no doubt that the traditional adventure gameplay would be better handled with a mouse.

*Disclaimer: This game was reviewed using Xbox Game Pass on an Xbox Series X.

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There’s a meme that goes like this: “What would you do if you woke up in a time loop and could only go back to the same day over and over again?” It’s a question that sounds like it should be easy to answer, but the reality is that there’s no simple answer. Some people would change their actions to ensure different outcomes, while others would try to break the loop to escape their situation.. Read more about what if you get stuck in a time loop and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you be stuck in a time loop?

No, I am not a time loop.

How do you get out of a time loop?

You need to find a way to stop the loop.

What does it mean to be stuck in a time loop?

When a person is stuck in a time loop, they will constantly be repeating the same day over and over again. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including that the person has been put into an induced coma or is suffering from some form of dementia.

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  • how to escape a time loop