need to know
what is it? A monster-taming RPG of Pokémon descent with a bustling shared online world.
Expected payment: $45/£40
release date: September 6, 2022
Publisher: humble game
Comment on: Windows 11, Nvidia 2080 Ti, Intel i9-9900k @ 4.9ghz, 32gb RAM
multiplayer game? Yes (cross-platform always-on multiplayer, co-op and PvP)
Association: Official website(opens in a new tab)
Let’s not get around the long grass here: Temtem are designed Pokémon clones. Small Spanish studio Crema aims to make something immediately familiar and accessible to fans of Nintendo’s monster-collecting JRPG series, while leaving room for some bold new ideas of their own. Since the developers assume you already know your pidgey from Pikachu, I’ll do the same to make it easier to break down the differences in Temtem, for better or worse.
First and foremost, Temtem is an MMO. kinda. You won’t step on other people’s toes as you explore, as interaction with other players is limited to chat, emotion, and challenging battles, but the world is a bustling place full of players and their pets. While suitable for single-player play, the entire story can be played cooperatively with friends, and the final game offers lots of opportunities for teams to go dungeon crawling together.
This makes Temtem’s world of floating islands orbiting around a magical pseudo-sun a lively place. The trade-off for this persistent shared world is monetization. In addition to the sticker price, there’s premium currency that can be used to buy cosmetic items, or a seasonal battle pass that distributes cosmetic items over time. Luckily, money won’t bring you success – for that, you have to invest time, effort, and a lot of memory damage type charts.
I want to be the best
The biggest difference between Temtem and Pokémon is its more complex combat, somewhere between Pokémon’s kid-friendly design and Shin Megami Tensei’s hardcore dungeon crawling. Temtem battles with NPC Tamers are often complete 6v6 affairs, with both sides deploying two creatures at a time. Between a sharp AI and not skimping on enemy levels and stats, it’s an extremely challenging battle. For those of you who are used to sleepwalking in Pokémon, you might have to sit up and pay attention here.
Multiplayer battles (available through informal challenges in the overworld or ranked play by level) are more complex. Those who are familiar with the rules of the DOTA competition are also familiar with the competition system. Players bring 8 Temtem squads to the table, picking 5 in turn to deploy while banning the opponent’s two picks. It’s a daunting twist to get used to, but luckily, you can practice this in single-player by challenging defeated dojo leaders (the equivalent of Pokémon Gym leaders) in mock competitive matches.
Combat in Temtem is also more subtle than in Pokémon. Temtems have both health and a stable stamina pool, and their attack power will be depleted. Low-level creatures can crumble after a big attack, making overruns easy to do. Any stamina debt will be deducted from that Temtem’s health, and they won’t be able to attack on the next turn – although things like marking and healing via items are allowed during this cooldown, making it a viable tactical option. Also, “Hold Techniques” are powerful attacks that cannot be selected until the Temtem has been fighting for a few turns, which further complicates things.
(Image credit: Humble)
never tell me strange things
The removal of Temtem from Pokémon is also interesting. There is no dice roll in battle, other than taking chances. There is no critical strike, the status effect is always present. Everything is deterministic, but there are ways to fudge the numbers. Each skill has a speed multiplier, allowing a slow mob to quickly jab at a faster mob with a heavier attack. Strategy plays a key role from the start, and while grinding to higher levels can work, playing smart is almost always better than brute force.
Between complex fights, 2v2 fights, 12 damage types (imagine playing rock, decoupage, scissors and 12 different options with two hands), there are many more wrinkles like being able to be at any time outside of combat Change the skill load of your Temtem and Temtem is almost daunting to engage in the game.As someone who lost interest in Pokémon very early on, that is Exactly what do i need. On nearly every level of mechanics (except the number of creatures – currently only 164), this is Pokémon: Premium Edition. Familiar, yet satisfyingly complex.
Temtem uses charm!it’s not very efficient
Objectively speaking, Temtem is a very good tweak to the genre. Subjectively, its aesthetics and world didn’t really do it for me. While your mileage may vary, many of the creature designs feel very generic, lacking the simple charm of Pokémon or the wild, childish imagination of Digimon. I would describe many of them as overly angular, stylized animals, and many of their names have terribly poor taste.I know combining “squirrel” and “punch” makes sense for strong fighting rodents, but skunk Sounds more like a disease I’d rather avoid contracting.
(Image credit: Humble)
Again, the game’s human cast (and much of their dialogue) is a far cry from Nintendo’s playful charm, though I occasionally laugh. The villains (the noble’s Belsoto clan) aren’t a Rockets patch either. The range of clothing and character customization options for player characters and NPCs is extensive, but the base character models feel more interchangeable than they should be. The world of Temtem sometimes feels like the same six people (male and female models for children, teens/adults, and seniors) quickly change outfits to fit the characters in each region.
Still, while the creature and character art didn’t spark my imagination, it’s a great-looking game on a technical level. Creatures animate well, and while I wish there was an option to fast-forward combat, larger attacks usually suffice for a barrage of polygons and particle effects. The game also feels more comfortable on PC than on consoles. Although the multiplayer is completely cross-platform, the mouse and keyboard controls feel the best for me, with some nice quality-of-life features like being able to click and drag my squad to form.
(Image credit: Humble)
While I’d appreciate more in-game references (like hotkeys for bringing up a dizzying array of damage types), Temtem puts most of the key information at hand, although players who take everything to heart will have an advantage. If you want to be the best, you have to learn it all. Even if it falls a little short on charm, and the Battle Pass feels a little out of place, Temtem is easy to recommend to Pokémon fans who want something tougher and meatier, while still feeling familiar.
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