12 Minutes walkthrough and endings explained

12 Minutes
(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

A 12 Minutes walkthrough will help explain this frustratingly obtuse puzzle game and all the endings or achievements you can get. The all-star cast hides a basic point-and-click adventure that buries its clues and makes progression an absolute needle in a haystack hunt. Combined with the time loop mechanics that can often require repeated playthroughs just to reach the point where you want to try an idea, it's not a simple thing to get through. This guide will cover all the things you need to do to move the story along and ultimately break the loop. This guide is, bar the things you actually have to do, spoiler-free up to loop 7. Even then you won't see any of the story or plot in this guide until it's impossible to progress without mentioning something. 

When an ending can be triggered we'll mention it. Just skip to the bottom to see what you need to do.

12 Minutes intro

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

You'll start the game in a corridor. Check the pot plant to find a fake rock with the key to get into your apartment.

12 Minutes Loop 1 

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

You can trigger the the 12 Minutes Listen ending right at the start so skip to the end if you want to do that. Otherwise, explore the flat, talk to your wife and if the evening goes well you'll have desert and she'll give you a present. When the cop turns up don't say or do anything - let the loop play out. 

Whenever you get the chance in this loop or any of the following ones, make sure to talk to your wife about the book she's reading when you get a spare moment. It's useful for one ending, which we'll cover when we get to it. 

12 Minutes Loop 2

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

This time, get into the closet and close it before your wife comes out of the bathroom. She won't know you're there so when the cop turns up you'll learn more about what's going on. Once all the events have unfolded, reset the loop by leaving the apartment. 

12 Minutes Loop 3

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

Based on the information uncovered in the last two loops you'll now have the details you need to progress things. 

Talk to your wife and pick the 'Prove the day is restarting' option. You can then select the window to tell her it's going to thunder. You'll have to wait until it does. 

Next, get the present from the drawer and show her. 

This will let you talk about her father and the watch but she nearly always gets angry and storms out the front door, so follow her to reset the loop. 

12 Minutes Loop 4

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

You'll be able to question your wife more about the past now you have the information from the previous loop. 

First though, get the watch by examining the vent under the medicine cabinet and opening it with your keys. Close the door first though as your wife can storm out if she sees what you're doing. 

Now question your wife about the past, and tell her you know the watch is in the vent. 

Now prove you're in a time loop again, and she should admit to everything that happened in the past, and eventually tell you the story behind the Polaroid on the fridge. 

At this point you can let the loop play out or reset by leaving the apartment.

12 Minutes Loop 5

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

With all the info you now have, grab the Polaroid from the fridge and talk through the new options for questioning your wife about the the past

You'll know when you've covered everything as you'll have nothing new to talk about and sinister string music will start playing. Your wife will keep talking about not being able to take the silence and eventually leave. 

Reset the loop. 

12 Minutes Loop 6

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

You should now have enough to progress the loop significantly, so get ready to do a fair bit. You can also trigger the 12 Minutes Coward Achievement here so skip to that below if the name sounds like something you want to do. Be warned, it's probably the worst possible thing to achieve in the game. 

As soon as you start, grab the Polaroid and the two mugs. 

When your wife comes out of the bathroom, get in there and, out of sight, get the pills, combine them with the mug and then use it on the sink to fill the mug. 

Give the drugged water to the wife and before it takes effect make sure to turn the light in the bedroom on. When the pills take effect your wife will go to bed and turn the switch off, which will prime it to electrocute the next person to touch it. 

Get in the closet, close the door and wait. 

When the cop arrives he'll search the flat and, when he finds your wife in bed, he'll electrocute himself when he goes to check on her. For what comes next you'll need to be fast, although you still might have to repeat this loop to get everything done.  

Search the cop while he's unconscious and take everything. Use a set of zip ties on him and use the gun to shoot him in the leg. If you don't he won't cooperate and if he gets the chance he'll get up and headbutt you unconscious, resetting the loop. 

Exhaust all the dialogue options with the cop. You might have the option to talk about a nanny from previously talking to the wife, but to be sure, show him the Polaroid which should dislodge any remaining dialogue options. 

Once there's nothing left to say, check the phone and call the number for Bumblebee you can find in the messages to memorize it for later. Do that first before checking the messages in case you run out of time and the loop resets. If you still have time you can ask him about his daughter's illness after learning about it from the messages on his phone but he won't say anything. 

As I said, there's a lot to do here so be prepared to repeat this loop if you can't get it all done in one go. 

12 Minutes Loop 7

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

Once you have Bumblebee's number you can trigger the 12 Minutes Groundhog Day achievement so skip to that ending below if you want to see it. 

Go straight to your wife and choose the option to prove to her the day's restarting. Then tell her about the cop and choose the option to explain the cop's connection to her father. 

Now go to the previous topic, choose to talk about her past and then tell her that the Polaroid proves she didn't kill him. 

Talk to her about her past again, ask about her father's affair, and then how her mother found out about it. Then ask about the nanny, and the nanny's child, where the brother could be now, and, finally, who killed her father. There will be some other conversion options, some you've covered, some you haven't, but they aren't important at this point. 

That's all you can really do at this point. The cop will turn up and you'll get some slightly different dialogue this time. 

12 Minutes Loop 8

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

Grab the phone while your wife is in the bathroom and then prove the day is restarting which will recap everything, including the fact that your wife didn't kill her father, and the arrival of the cop.

Now use the phone to call Bumblebee and tell her that her father is going to arrest your wife and that she's innocent. That will get her to agree to call her dad. Talk to your wife about the cop and wait for him to arrive. 

Don't do anything at this point. Wait for the cop to arrive and you'll hear him take a phone call in the hallway. 

Let the scene play out and your wife will prove she's innocent of the murder with the Polaroid. The cop will explain what he's up to, your wife will give him the watch, and eventually mention the name 'monster'. This will prompt your wife to explain that it was a nickname for the brother.  

Unfortunately, while it seems like a good conclusion, it's not over yet. 

12 Minutes Loop 9

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

Now you can repeat the process of proving the day is restarting but with the knowledge of the brother. Tell your wife the day is repeating, talk about the brother and cycle through all the conversation.

Now call Bumblebee again and tell her your wife is innocent so she'll call the cop. 

Talk to your wife and you'll have the option to find out more about the brother being the killer. Now you can go back to a previous topic and tell your wife why the cop wants the watch and then wait for him to arrive. 

Now when the cop arrives you'll go through the same conversation as before but this time you'll be able to talk about the nanny. That will reveal she had a flowery name beginning with 'D' just before the loop restarts. 

12 Minutes Loop 10

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

Grab the baby clothes from the drawer and then prove the day is restarting. Call Bumblebee and say your wife is innocent. Talk to your wife again about waiting for the cop to arrive. Let the conversation play out but this time when the nanny is brought up, show the cop the baby clothes.

Let the scene play out. 

12 Minutes Loop 11

You'll be in a new location. Let this play out and you'll be sent back to the apartment whatever happens. 

12 Minutes loop 12

You'll be back in the apartment. Let this play out as well. 

12 Minutes Loop 13

12 minutes walkthrough

(Image credit: Annapurna)

At this point you can access the 12 Minutes Alone ending, and the 12 Minutes Blissful Ignorance ending. The first will let you continue and start again with your progress intact, but the second will fully complete the game and require you play from the beginning, so be careful about picking that one. You can also trigger the 12 Minutes Confessed achievement.

From this point it's all endings and achievements so only read on if you want to know how to trigger these events. 

12 Minutes Listen ending (Can Continue)

Do nothing in the first loop. Let everything play out and the game will end. The wife will allude to some past events but that she wants to tell you somewhere else and you'll leave the apartment. 

12 Minutes Alone ending (Can Continue)

Go into the bathroom, get the pocket watch and look at it. You'll watch the hands going backwards and find yourself back in the other place. If you chose the option that 'Maybe it's better that we aren't together' you'll trigger the Alone ending. Say you want to stay together to return to the loop. 

12 Minutes Blissful ignorance ending (can't continue, full restart)

Return to the other place by looking at the watch in the bathroom. When you're there click on the red book you saw your wife reading earlier to activate new dialogue. Ignore the option to change your mind and just wait for the ending to trigger. 

12 Minutes Continue ending

When you hit continue after any of the endings that allow it, it will take you to a corridor much like the one the game started in. However it'll be lacking any doors other than your own and you'll already have the key. Head inside and you'll find the apartment empty, However the watch is still in the bathroom vent. Get it and click on the big hand and move it so it's at two minutes before 12. When the silver hand reaches it you'll be taken back to the other place where you can chose the option to be with her and she doesn't need to know to return to the loop.

12 Minutes achievements

12 Minutes

(Image credit: Annapurna)

12 Minutes Coward achievement

When you have the cop unconscious on the floor take one set of zip ties and handcuff him, don't take anything else or this ending won't work. When the cop wakes up, tell him you're innocent and when he says he can help say okay. He'll get up and untie his hands then ask for the watch. Tell him you know where it is and go to the couch when he asks. He'll then shoot the wife and ask for a phone. If you haven't got it, get the wife's phone from the closet and let everything play out. 

12 Minutes Groundhog Day achievement

Call Bumblebee and tell her that her father is trying to get the watch to help with her illness. When he gets the call this time he'll leave and not even come to the door. Now let the loop unfold much like the first time, say it's time for desert and when she give you the present tell her what you think and say it's going to be great. When she asks to dance say yes and when she says you seem different, tell her how much you love her. She'll go to bed and you can join her until the loop resets. 

12 Minutes Confessed achievement

Go through the options to prove the day is restarting and then call Bumblebee and tell her your wife is innocent. Now talk to your wife about the past and either tell her either that you are her brother, or that you killed her father. 

Next, choose to say it's your fault, and that you'll confess. Grab the watch from the vent and wait for the cop to arrive. Your wife and the cop will talk until the conversation turns to you. Say you didn't do anything, ask about his daughter's illness and then tell him that you killed her father and that your wife is your sister. 

Finally choose the option to say it was your fault and give him the watch. Let everything else play out from there for the Confessed ending.

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.