2 room apartment
A small apartment – kitchen-living room, bedroom, bathroom and storage room – is a damn manageable area for a video game. Similar to Polanski’s darkly humorous chamber play “The God of Carnage”, almost the entire plot of Twelve Minutes takes place in a tightly confined apartment. But where in the film Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet and John C. Reilly only argue about bad children and an apple dessert, the Xbox game is a bit more serious: a man, his wife and a policeman act as actors . It’s about dark secrets and a murder charge, and everyone involved can die.
The husband is voiced by British actor James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, Wanted, Split). His wife borrows the voice of Daisy Ridley (Star Wars). The cop, who bothers badly in the course of the game, is set to music by Starmime Willem Dafoe (Speed 2, Boondock Saints, Spider-Man, Antichrist), whom we video gamers already know from Beyond: Two Souls. The English sound (unfortunately there is no German synchro) is therefore unsurprisingly very successful, but the game does not visually benefit from the prominent participants – due to the selected camera perspective from above, there is no mime game to be admired.
The view through the spy is one of the few moments in which Twelve Minutes breaks out of its rigid camera concept.
The basic game goes like this: The man gets out of the elevator, crosses the hallway and enters the shared apartment. His wife is waiting for him there. She has prepared a delicious dessert and is looking forward to the evening together – during which she would like to tell him about her pregnancy. As a player, you have a direct influence on whether it comes to that at all. The motto here is: A lot can, nothing has to be done. You only control the man, but not with a stick, but with a small cursor and the A key to trigger an action (running, speaking, taking) – that feels a little awkward with the gamepad on the Xbox, but the controls work anyway okay and does not attract negative attention.
Trying out and studying
The inevitable end of a run? The cop throws both figures to the ground and ties them up with cable ties.
Despite the small area and not that many interactive objects, the options are very diverse: You can just sit on the couch and listen to your wife. Or you can get dessert out of the refrigerator, invite you to a dance and start the “romantic evening” project. If you are quick, you can even hide in the closet before your wife notices her husband’s arrival. Or you lock yourself in the bathroom and look for … things. This also works in the bedroom. And what about the light switch there, which is apparently defective? Are there any hidden places here or in other rooms? Can you take the drinking glass away from your thirsty wife or does she get angry? Are the candles on the table good for something? Maybe the knife on the sideboard? Can you just turn around and leave the apartment?