For years, Pokemon has belonged to a unique market of its own. Its monster-collecting adventure genre is relatively one-of-its-kind (if you do not count Shin Megami Tensei or Persona franchise), attracting millions of players every time a new Pokemon title released. Interesting enough, there is a new “challenger” in this market called TemTem developed by an indie developer named Crema. The game has been on early access quite a while now and so far, it has got a pretty good reception from lots of players, including Pokemon fans! So what is TemTem exactly? Is it good to play? Let’s find out in this TemTem first impression!
As mentioned, TemTem is a monster-collecting adventure game that takes direct inspiration from Pokemon series itself. Yet unlike Pokemon, TemTem follows MMORPG model, which means players can constantly see each other walking around & directly interacting with each other. The game is currently available on Steam in the early-access form at the price of 34.99$, though this may be changed in the future.
1. Visual & Sound
Frankly speaking, TemTem does surprise lots of people thanks to how pretty the game already looks despite early-access state. Like Pokemon, the game has a bright, colorful visual style. It has a cartoony/anime-ish look. Everything already looks pretty polished, including buildings, environments, character models, and Poke… eh TemTem models & animations. Not only that, the game runs rather smooth at 60fps, again despite being in the early-access state.
Music is also nicely done. It is fun and lighthearted, fitting for the general theme of TemTem. The sounds are also well done. Overall, both visual & sound work great, leaving quite a good impression for players at the beginning.
For starters, you will find many, many elements from TemTem which are similar to Pokemon. Or you can say… many elements are actually the same, just with different terms. For example: the monsters are called TemTem (not Pokemon of course!), players use TemTem card to capture TemTem (instead of Poke-Ball), Gym is replaced by TemTem Dojo, etc…
Many mechanics also stay similar to Pokemon: Players still start by choosing one among 3 starter TemTem. We travel throughout the world from one location to the others and while we walk around, we can encounter random TemTem. And we can catch TemTem by weakening them and use TemTem card to capture them. So in the essence, there are many mechanics similar to Pokemon. But what’s important is that: TemTem tries to change & improve stuff that Pokemon Sword & Shield did not.
When you enter your first TemTem battle, you will immediately find out that combat is 2v2, not traditional 1v1. This element alone already suggests lots of change in combo & synergies between TemTem monsters. The team size still remains 6 slots, so obviously you will have to manage your team, select which TemTem fits your style & counter the enemies the best.
Next, every TemTem uses Stamina for their Techniques, unlike Pokemon in which Moves have their own amount of usage numbers. Each Technique has its own Stamina cost and of course, the more powerful a Technique is, the higher Stamina it costs. Plus, certain Techniques may have a cooldown period called Hold when starting a battle. As a result, these mechanics force players to play more strategically, not just spamming the most powerful Techniques to win.
Talking about powerful Techniques, the game still retains the TemTem Type system. Each TemTem belongs to particular Types, and these Types can counter each other. It means all Techniques can counter particular TemTem Types. But unlike Pokemon, TemTem monsters have quite lots of health. So even if your TemTem deals 2x damage (due to countering Types) to the opponent TemTem, it does not necessarily mean opponent TemTem will be defeated right away. Again, this means players will need more than just spamming Techniques to win a battle.
TemTem – Gotta Catch Em’ All?
As a monster-collecting adventure game, clearly monsters are a big part of TemTem. And so far, the game does quite a good job of designing TemTem overall.
According to the developer, the total number of TemTem at release will be over 160. And at the moment, there are 86 TemTem available during the current early access. Of course, 160 TemTem number cap will not be a definite amount as new TemTem will be added in future updates. All the revealed TemTem monsters have really good design, many of them look really cute! TemTem evolution also looks cool and impactful.
However, there is a slight problem in the current state. You see, like Pokemon, TemTem monster will also learn new Techniques as they level up. Each TemTem can only have 4 Techniques at the same time at max. So eventually, we will have to unlearn old Techniques to get newer stuff. The thing is: many TemTems seem to the same Techniques at the moment. To be honest, we are not sure if this is purely because of the early-access state or not. Hopefully, there will be more Techniques added at the official launch.
3. Is it worth it?
In general, TemTem has left players quite a great impression so far, even for an early-access title. The game already looks pretty polished, the graphic looks great, the animation looks great, the gameplay has various great changes which does enhance the traditional monster-collection game style. Judging by the game’s current state, TemTem does have a good potential ahead. But it also begs a question: is it worth $34.99?
The answer is… maybe? The thing is: TemTem is still in early access and therefore, there are still so many things need to be patched in. For example: there are many TemTems that have not been revealed yet, there are many locations unavailable to get in. And also, the end-game content is not exactly clear at the moment. Still, if you are a big fan of Pokemon and you are tired of what Pokemon Sword & Shield brought, TemTem can be a good chance of pace. Whether it is truly worth the $34.99 price tag or not, we will have to and see.
So have you played TemTem yet? What do you think about the game thus far? Feel free to share it with us! And for now, thank you and stay tuned for more news in the future!