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Temtem may very well have what it takes to be a Pokémon competitor

Two grown-ass adults gush over a Pokémon-like MMO.

Temtem fighting
Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

The MMO-styled Pokémon-clone, Temtem, went live in early access earlier this week. It seems negative and disrespectful in some ways to refer to the game as a Pokémon-clone (Josiah prefers the term “love letter”), but once you spend some time in the game, there isn’t really a better description. Josiah and I both began out Temtem trainer journey and we thought we’d share a little on our experiences.

First, if you don’t know Temtem, it’s an unapologetic ode to Nintendo’s Pokémon. The team behind it, Crema, has made it obvious that this game is the Fatal Fury to Capcom’s Street Fighter 2. The game dupes many of Pokémon’s beloved features, like IVs, shinies, and natures.

Temtem focuses heavily on the ability to play co-op, with you constantly fielding two Temtem at a time. There are improvements to move sets that allow unlockable moves in battle and stamina, which means that there’s never a situation where a Temtem becomes completely useless.


Temtem towns

Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

At the time of writing this, I have about three hours of Temtem play under my belt. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve been able to play. Key phrase: what I’ve been able to play.

Temtem is really neat, but the game is absolutely far more in-demand than I imagine Crema could have imagined. As an actual MMO, Temtem’s world and servers are constant. This is neat, as the need to save is negated, but also kind of sucks when the servers are catching on fire from the beating they are taking. Luckily, it seems this is actively being worked on according to the constantly-updating Twitter account.

While I have 3 hours logged into my Temtem trek, I’ve only just completed the initial quest the game gives me. Wandering the tall grass and trainers between the starting area and the first village has been a challenge as freezing, crashes and connection issues have plagued my journey. I’ve had to play through the first major Temtem fight three times due to being disconnected and have been a victim of opening chests that disconnect me.

I do, however, understand an indie MMO in early access is going to have growing pains. I hope Crema is ready to make changes and update the game as needed. So far, so good though. Every day so far has had updates that needed to be downloaded, so they are definitely working on fixes.

The actual time playing I’ve had with Temtem is nothing short of fantastic. I loved creating my own in-game avatar that stands apart from others. I’ve spent time running back to my home to heal up my Temtem while making sure everyone is at level 10 before I made it to the first real town. My grinding has given me capital for Temtem cards (Pokéballs) and healing items. I’ve even evolved a few Temtem, it’s been a good time so far.

Also, I just want to throw in that when my first Temtem evolved mid-combat by exploding,  it totally caught me off guard. Temtem is an entire aesthetic.


Temtem house

Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

Like Josh, I have a handful of hours in Temtem and I have been thoroughly impressed by the experience. It IS online Pokémon. You have your starter Temtems, a Professor, and gyms which are referred to as Dojos.

The game is just quaint as shit. I am a sucker for cute looking games – Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, Slimer Rancher, etc – and this title nails that whimsical look. I want to live in the world of Temtem. Even interactions with NPCs are fun and give players the chance to answer in a variety of ways. I’m not sure it changes anything, but it’s still nice to see.

Playing co-op with a friend is a fantastic experience and works exactly how I had hoped it would. It’s fluid, natural, and just works. Fight with friends, explore tall grass with friends, do missions with friends. It’s all there and free of hang-ups.

What I’m most curious to see, is how the end game works in Temtem. Is it like Pokémon and there will be new trainers to fight at higher levels? Will there be an end-game grind? For me, this is one of the things that will make or break the game. This game is a loot game at its core, which means a solid end game is necessary. Gotta flex on your friends and randoms, after all.

Group play is the way

Temtem gameplay

Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

There’s a lot to Temtem that isn’t explicitly stated at this point and that’s super cool. You can be a Pokémon master and will know enough to be dangerous, but little things like tandem moves and type boosts will throw you for a loop.

While Josiah played with a few friends, I played with my 12-year old son. He recently finished Pokémon Shield and was excited to go on another monster-catching journey. He kept talking about how he thought he knew how things worked and then he realized exactly how different it all was. He told me that the game’s setting and Professor remind him of Pokémon Sun and Moon but the initial game story seemed to remind him of Red and Blue. The kid knows his stuff and I have to agree with him on this.

Overall, it’s important to note that Temtem is absolutely early access and only about 50% completed at this time. If the team keeps up their work and grows the game from here, it’s only a matter of time before the Pokémon Company takes note. I wouldn’t advise you to skip Pokémon Sword and Shield to play Temtem, but the games do definitely compliment each other and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Temtem is currently available on Steam and is in Early Access at $34.99. At this time, the team expects a 1.0 release sometime in 2021, so early adopters will see plenty of changes.

What do you think? Interested in Temtem or will you stick to Pokémon? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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