Ryan Gan of SideQuesting writes:
"Twelve Minutes, the puzzle adventure game by indie game developer Luis Antonio, has us re-living the same twelve minutes over and over again."
VGChartz's Christian Evans: "The criteria for what constitutes indie may be up for debate, but such is the quality of these games that the difference between them and their more 'illustrious' AAA brethren is now blurred beyond defining lines. Every year a new batch breaks through that is strong enough to compete against the established industry bests, and they're now seemingly in the conversation for game of the year each and every year - Hades in 2020 being a recent prime example.
Last year was again no different, and with plenty of major studio releases delayed out of 2021, the indie efforts were afforded greater space to thrive and shine. To highlight how strong a year it was for the indie scene, swapping in a new batch of shortlisted games multiple times over would still leave the list looking formidable."
VGChartz's Lee Mehr: "Whether you're racing against the clock or afforded all the time in the world, the satisfaction of a completed puzzle can't be understated. Whereas most critic and fan darlings in other genres tend to rely on established templates, puzzlers don't get enough credit for their inherent flexibility in mechanics or tone. 2021's nominees highlight that in obvious ways. Some have a heavier emphasis on darker narratives or world-building, while others emphasise mechanical challenges. Out of all the genre awards, these nominees are arguably the most varied."