Since their debut back in 1996, the Pokemon games have carved out a very specific place for themselves in the world of video games. They’re far from the only games that revolve around the core concept of capturing, taming and battling with monsters, but few others have had the immense success and cultural impact that Pokemon has had.
But now there’s another game that has been garnering attention among Pokemon fans for quite some time, and it hasn’t been shy about where it’s influences come from. I’m talking about the crowdfunded success that is Temtem, and its highly anticipated release is almost upon us.
Temtem is almost beat-for-beat what some might describe as a shameless ‘Pokemon clone’, and the developers of the game might actually agree with that statement to some degree. But Temtem is nothing if not an incredibly respectful homage to some of the most adorable, creative and entertaining games of all time, and Pokemon’s influences are apparent in almost every facet of its design.
The game sticks to some established story tropes like children venturing fourth from their hometowns to explore the outside world and fighting against an organisation of nefarious criminals, and that’s completely fine. This is one of those situation where the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” gets a lot of mileage.
Temtem also never had to reinvent the wheel to grab out attention with it’s gameplay, but the developers still put their own unique twist on the established Pokemon formula.
To start with, Temtem is a Massively multiplayer online game where you’ll be able to see other tamers roaming around the map at all times. You can battle with them, trade Temtems and even play through the entire story campaign with them cooperatively.
Battles in Temtem are also primarily double battles, which means that you always start fights with two creatures at the same time. This makes a lot of sense for co-op play, but it also adds another layer of complexity to solo play.
A feature that we’ve never seen in Pokemon titles. Stamina management, also plays a massive role in this game, and your Temtems need to use up a certain amount of this from a meter to actually execute their moves. Pushing your Temtems by having them use powerful moves, some of which have cooldowns, without enough stamina available also causes them to take damage.
All of these features come together to create a combat system that is not only more complex and detailed than anything we’ve seen in Pokemon games so far, it also creates an environment where players are encouraged to make use of all the Temtems in their teams and not just stick to one or two of their favorites.
There are also a lot of customization options in the game that players can use to make their playthrough uniquely their own. You can create your own character and dress them up with a variety of clothes and accessories to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
You can also buy a house in the game, and customize the flooring, wallpaper and furniture according to your likes. Player houses are persistent, and you can visit your friends’ places whenever you want.
I’ve been looking forward to the release of Temtem for a very long time. It looks beautiful, the combat feels fresh, and the Temtems all look equally cool and adorable.
I cannot wait to get my hands on it when it comes out in Early Access on 21st January, 2020.