2020 has been a year of absolute horrors, and if you told me in advance that PlayStation having Early Access games was going to be a thing then I would have said that belonged right there.
Well that was until I started playing Temtem, and along with Immortals: Fenyx Rising this may be the best way to end this horror year.
Temtem is a Pokemon clone and, well, do you know what? I could probably finish the review there, 8 out of 10.
But seriously it is an unabashed Pokemon clone in so many ways, and despite Pokemon having two home console released games now on the Switch this may actually be the one we were waiting for. The gameplay is classic Pokemon through and through.
You create your character who is a Temtem trainer. You go to the professor’s lab to choose your starting Temtem. Then you head out to learn about the world of Temtem and start getting your catching on. There is a light story, but it is as paper thin as original Pokemon games, but it’s that gameplay loop that keeps you hooked.
You run around taming wild Temtem in tall grass by weakening them and throwing Temcards. They have elemental strengths and weaknesses, and you heal your Temtem at Temporiums. I mean I can go on and on about how much inspiration it has taken from Pokemon, but that is boring. How about what the game does better?
Your Temtem can have up to four moves equipped at a time, and battles are arranged with up to two Temtem on the field on each side at a time. The game already smokes Pokemon out of the water with one feature, the ability to switch your Temtems moves. Instead of having to forget a move when they learn a new one, in the menu you can swap all your learned moves in and out without having to track down some random guy on the map to remember old moves. It’s sooo good.
The other major feature Temtem has going for it is that instead of moves having a limited number of uses until you next find a recovery place, Temtem have a power meter for the moves they can use before they start damaging themselves to use an attack. Different moves use different amounts of exhaustion, and the bar refills for every fight.
The game is technically a MMO and you see other people walking around the world with you. The interactions are limited with the exception of specific ways to have battles, but it’s a MMO lite. Temtem is fundamentally a single player game with people around, and that makes it kinda great.
The other thing that kicks ass is the complete lack of history. Because Pokemon iterations have a bunch of old Pokemon, you can’t help but look for ones you know. Temtem regains that feeling of total discovery. I don’t know what a Temtem is going to be like or evolve into until I try, and that is awesome.
Temtem is in Early Access and the game crashed plenty, but I never lost progress and I can’t see how they continue to enhance it. As it stands now this game is well worth checking out if you want to play a Pokemon clone on your PS5 as it is that pure simple JRPG fun that we have loved for so many years.