Groundhog Slay is a game that features the player as a groundhog who must fight off various enemies. The game has been compared to other games like Flappy Bird and Angry Birds because of its simplicity, short length, and high difficulty.

12 Minutes Review is a YouTube channel that reviews movies, TV shows, and video games. This week they reviewed the movie Groundhog Day.

When a guy returns home from work, his wife greets him. Dessert was prepared by her. While a rainstorm shakes the windows and their capital-S song plays on the radio by the sink of their studio apartment, they sit and eat their cakes cold from the fridge. While dining, the lady informs her husband that they are expecting a child. 

Before a knock at the door stops them, the couple talks about how their lives would soon alter drastically. The visitor, claiming to be a policeman, ties up the couple, demands information that they don’t seem to have, and murders the husband in a fit of rage.

The guy returns at the door he’d entered seconds before, just as he breathes his last breaths. His wife greets him, chatting about dessert, completely oblivious to the fact that he has entered a time loop, and unless he can find out why, he may be condemned to die on repeat forever. Players will find themselves deep into the rabbit hole of one of 2021’s greatest games as he descends into lunacy.

The concept of 12 Minutes is one of the most popular in games right now. From Outer Wilds to Returnal and beyond, video game creators have discovered that using a time loop as a narrative technique is a natural match for the medium. None have left a greater impression on me than 12 Minutes.

Publisher Annapurna put its Hollywood contact book to work once again, securing a small, focused, outstanding ensemble of Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy, and Willem Dafoe, who gives one of my favorite performances of the year as the invader. There isn’t a slacker among the three, however.

The frenetic narrative is made all the more gripping by these outstanding performances. Players will experience the same few minutes over and over again ad infinitum, gleaning morsels of knowledge each time that will enable them progress through the horrific evening at a pace of two steps ahead, one step back.

Luis Antonio co-wrote and created the game, demonstrating a remarkable grasp of the medium from both a narrative and gameplay standpoint, which makes sense given his previous credentials, which include work on Rockstar games and The Witness. 12 Minutes is an amazing accomplishment in puzzle design, more than simply a totally enthralling narrative that demands to be played in one or a few sittings.

There are no colored bricks to match, and there are no birds to throw at wooden and stone buildings. The problems in 12 Minutes are interpersonal, and they’ve apparently considered every conceivable variation that players might use to break out from the cycle. Early on, it’s apparent that players must locate a certain object, one that only the wife appears to be aware of. How might a player trapped in a loop use this information to persuade them to stop?

Direct confrontation just causes her to become totally deafeningly deafeningly deafening When the topic becomes too sensitive in a following loop, gently asking spoils the romantic meal. You may be able to locate it on your own, but your unpredictable behavior is driving her insane. Perhaps doing nothing at all will fix your problem.

That is the genius of 12 Minutes. There is always a correct solution, and sometimes more than one way to get there, yet there is a remarkable foresight in its design for every potential path players will take in their frantic search for the next clue. When the game does hand them out, usually in the form of new conversation choices, they seem real breaks in a murder investigation, except you’re the one who keeps dying, if not your wife as well.

Some times may border on obtuseness in the traditional adventure game manner of requiring players to mix things to solve issues, but once you get beyond that, you’ll see that the solutions were all there for the detail-oriented player. None of the time loop video games in a suddenly verdant garden have ever given me such a genuine sense of living in a time loop myself. My brain was broken in 12 minutes, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My thoughts raced between sessions as I beat the game in two days. What if I gave him exactly what he desired? What if I delegated the task to her? What if she wasn’t even present? What would his reaction be? What if I accidentally kill him? What am I supposed to do?! The clock, with its continuous and mocking tick-tocking, is freely visible in a pause menu at all times.

Each loop gives you a fresh chance to mess about with the environment, flip over more stones, and, perhaps, save your life. When you’re truly stuck, it may seem like all hope is gone, but those moments of finally getting on the right track and making meaningful progress will go down as one of my greatest gaming moments of the year. While playing 12 Minutes, I practically fell out of my chair many times. Sometimes it’s because I’ve been brought to my knees by a discovery. Sometimes it was because I was stuck in a loop with no obvious way out.

I’m writing this evaluation in a vacuum, oblivious to the opinions of my peers. Other critics are likely to express their feelings on this, perhaps more harshly than I am. They’ll be correct in doing so. It’s often aggravating to the point of tearing your hair out when you hit those obstacles, but it’s also genuine and necessary to the experience. So much so that I’m hoping no one looks up solutions on YouTube before banging their head against a few walls throughout the course of the five to 10 hour game.


Review in 12 Minutes — The Bottom Line


  • Story is brilliant and unexpected.
  • Problem-solving with a fine-toothed comb
  • Everyone gave outstanding performances.


  • Occasionally, there are pace issues.

12 Minutes is without a doubt one of the best games of the year. Its winding narrative develops entirely as a result of the player’s efforts, which may result in some pace problems at times, but for the most part, the game teaches players how to deduce its instructions without ever holding their hands.

Few games are as well-crafted on both a narrative and gameplay level as this one, and compelling music and a stellar cast tie it all together. The irony is that, despite having just completed it this week, 12 Minutes, a game about a guy imprisoned in a time loop, is a game I wish I could play again for the first time. In the next weeks, months, and years, I envy those who will be playing it for the first time. 

[Note: The copy of 12 Minutes utilized for this review was supplied by Annapurna Interactive.]
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