Fans of Pokémon games will be delighted with what Temtem has to offer. A creature-catching game with lots of potential to be one of the greatest titles its genre has to offer, despite currently being in early access only.
It is impossible to talk about Temtem without bringing up the Pokémon games, especially the old school ones from the Game Boy era.
However, the fact that Temtem draws some serious inspiration from said games does not mean that it is just a bland copy of the experience. In fact, I will even go as far as to say that Temtem does a significantly better job of conveying the actual thrill of this genre. How so, you ask?
Well, despite being in early access only, Temtem already has loads of content to offer to those looking to get their creature-catching fix.
The tried-and-true formula of setting up your team of creatures you caught in the wild and training and evolving them in order to seek glory as the number one trainer/tamer/master - however you want to call it - simply works, and Temtem is well aware of this. That's why it is not afraid to show that its core premise is strikingly similar to that of Pokémon.
You start off your adventure by choosing one of the three Temtem to accompany you on your journey. After choosing your new best pal, you battle your rival right then and there, and after the initial drama ends - you embark on your journey with a bunch of Temtem cards in your backpack. These allow you to catch some wild Temtem and add them to your six-creature squad. Sounds amazingly familiar, doesn't it?
This is one of those "if it ain't broke - don't fix it" things, but what Temtem does improve on - I won't say "fix" because that would be a word too strong in this case - is, for one, the writing. I won't get into the story too much for the sake of keeping this whole thing spoiler-free, but I will say that the writing in Temtem is remarkably well done. It's funny, engaging, and gets you genuinely interested and invested in the story.
There are even some awesome nods to today's internet lingo, like, for example, one of the Temtem has a skill named "Bamboozle". As its name and meme-background suggest, it allows the Temtem to evade its opponents attacks by "bamboozling" them.
It's a small thing really, but isn't that where happiness is normally found? And that's just one of the numerous examples I have come across so far.
Aside from the excellent writing, the battles in Temtem are done in a 2v2 format, giving a new layer of depth and complexity to them. This is even more underlined by the fact that the game features a hefty number of different Temtem types, such as Water, Melee, Nature etc, with some interesting choices thrown in the mix like Mental and Crystal types. This variety is indeed one of the stronger suits of Temtem.
Walking around the game's world, you will see an abundance of other players that you can interact with in various ways, all on their own journeys with their beloved Temtem following them in every step of the way. The more experienced players will boast some amazing looking beasts, and simply marveling at their majestic looks is something I have found myself doing far more often than I care to admit.
While not all Temtem look super detailed and as good, most of them have pretty decent designs, and the animations of skills - especially the higher tier ones - are very pleasant to look at.
This makes battles and their turn-based system far less monotonous, which is very important as odds are that you will have to retry a battle a good number of times before winning given that Temtem is not exactly the easiest of games, at least as far fighting the Dojo masters goes. The challenging, but by no means frustrating, difficulty is another thing that got me hooked to the game.
My platform of choice for Temtem is the PlayStation 5, and as you would expect, the performance is absolutely top-notch. Loading times are absolutely negligible, and I love how the game doesn't take me back to a checkpoint once I log out and in, but it continues from the exact same spot I left the game at.
Being in early access at the moment, there's still a lot more to be added to this already fantastic title, but its hours of genuinely fun content - content that, I will admit, has made me forget about the other "big" games out there - makes it very much worth its current price.
So, if you're a fan of Pokémon-like games, and are a completionist who likes the collecting aspect in your games - then Temtem is a no-brainer and is most definitely worth your time and money. And if you're just looking to get your feet wet in this genre and you need a game to put you on the right track, Temtem can certainly fill that role as well.
Don't let the early access tag throw you off either - the game still has tons of content to offer, so supporting it and being one of the pioneers once it hits the big stage officially will surely give you all kinds of positive feels.