12 Minutes is the latest game published by Annapurna Interactive. It’s a strange narrative adventure involving the player repeating the same time frame in a Groundhog Day-style loop.
Players start by coming home late from work when their wife has cooked dessert for them. After a nice average evening at home, a cop knocks at the door, and when you or your wife open it, the cop will quickly arrest you and your wife, and ends up striking or choking the player to death. And the game restarts.
This is an abrupt and disturbing scene, but it’s exactly what’s in store for the player in 10 minutes increments, each time loop usually ends with a horrific end, and the player is left to wonder how they can fix their predicament.
I’m Kinglink and today I’d like to review a website called UHS-Hints and I will, but I don’t think we’re ready for the actual site just yet.
To fully appreciate what UHS-Hints is, I feel like we have to start with what makes a great puzzle in a game, especially an adventure game or a puzzle game, and then what came before.
You see today we have a lot of games that have “puzzles” with quotation marks which amount to either figure out where to go next or click the right button the right number of times. Those are puzzles but not what we’ll be talking about today.
Telltale really made the modern “Adventure game” iconic in a number of ways, mostly in how formulaic they are. The Telltale formula is to take a well known IP, and then add a new story to the world with minimal changes and choices that the player will have control over. Players are just along for the ride, and ultimately it’s similar to a storybook.
But whether you pick up the Batman, Walking Dead, or Guardians of the Galaxy, as long as you like the IP, you’ll probably enjoy the journey. If you don’t, well, it might be the wrong game for you.
Dontnod’s entry into the genre is therefore quite odd. Instead of attaching the storybook idea to an IP they instead decided to make their own world and tell a story there. It definitely was a risky venture as having no established IP meant everyone would-be newcomers to the series and trying to make the “storybook” approach interesting to new fans could be challenging.
But it’s only with great risk can great reward be obtained, and I think Dontnod is deserving of a massive reward.