During their E3 2019 press conference, Microsoft revealed a trailer for Twelve Minutes, a new indie thriller that challenges players to break out of a time loop, set to release in 2020. Twelve Minutes is being developed by Luis Antonio, who has experience in development at Ubisoft and Rockstar. While he was creating art for The Witness, Antonio began developing Twelve Minutes on his own. The game had a presence at PAX East 2015 and was originally slated for an earlier release, but other projects have also filled Antonio’s time since he started working on Twelve Minutes.
He has kept a personal blog for five years to track his progress on the project. Twelve Minutes will be published by Annapurna Interactive, the indie publisher behind titles such as What Remains of Edith Finch, Donut Country, and Outer Wilds. Speaking on his partnership with Annapurna Interactive in a blog post after the E3 reveal, Antonio said he chose to work with them to “make this experience the best it can possibly be.”
Twelve Minutes puts players in the role of a husband whose romantic dinner with his wife is interrupted by a police officer who barges into their home, accuses the wife of murder, and then attacks the husband. The player is quickly transported back in time after the husband is attacked—back to the start of the evening, twelve minutes prior. Until the player can change the outcome of the evening and prevent the husband’s death, the player will be trapped in a time loop. As they repeat the same twelve-minute-interval over and over, they must gather more knowledge of what’s about to happen and possible ways to challenge it. Each iteration will play out in real-time.
The gameplay mechanics have yet to be specified, but going off the trailer, it appears that the game takes place entirely within the confines of the husband’s apartment, the setting only changing between different rooms, such as the living room and bathroom. The player will watch each twelve-minute-period unfold from an overhead perspective.
Twelve Minutes will release on Xbox One and Microsoft PC sometime in 2020. Anyone eagerly awaiting the game’s release can subscribe to an email newsletter for updates on the game’s homepage. Twelve Minutes is just one of many upcoming Xbox games announced by Microsoft this weekend.