Times change, but through all the turbulence of a video game industry that is constantly evolving, there remains one constant: Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise making a stupid amount of cash while rarely drifting away from the template that was created more than two decades ago. If you wanted a pocket monster experience, you’d have to pay Nintendo a visit to do so.
Until recently that is.
If any one game was able to challenge Nintendo at its own game, it was Temtem. A bold new take on the catch ‘em all formula, Temtem’s newness was its greatest strength. There was a layer of mystery, of exploring unknown new locations and delighting in discovering creatures to add to your collection. The Pokemon bones were there, but the flesh on top belonged to a wholly different beast entirely.
Temtem is now a PS5 game, having released on Sony’s new console in Early Access form. Kind of. Having been released first on PC, the beta build of this game is still a remarkably complete and polished experience on console when compared to the early days on PC. Right now, you’ve got around a hundred battlin’ creatures to get your mitts on, a meaty campaign, and ranked multiplayer to enjoy.
On the horizon are around 60+ more Temtem, the auction/trading house, mythical-class Temtem, and more. But right now, the game is a solid distraction for anyone wanting but also not wanting more Pokemon. Having a new elemental type-effectiveness chart, challenging spikes in difficulty, and a vibrant design makes for a game that feels radically diferent even if many of its systems were borrowed from its primary inspiration.
The fact that those elements were tweaked and improved upon though, focusing on an older fanbase who could dig deep into its systems and stats to get the most out of them? Not a bad angle at all. If you’ve ever wondered what all the hubbub is about pocket monster collecting and you’ve never slapped cash down for a Nintendo console, Temtem’s as good a place to start as any.
Its vibrant, the grind is enjoyable and it has a challenging environment that is worth exploring thanks to how rewarding it feels to accomplish the impossible. Good for a single weekend or several weeks of grinding to catch all the Temtem, developer Crema’s RPG is a worthy challenger to the pocket monster throne, and it’s only going to get better from here until the day it’s ready for a full release.
Last Updated: December 15, 2020