Temtem, an early access Pokémon-like, just launched and is now Steam's top-selling game today

Temtem (Image credit: CremaGames S.L.)


Source: CremaGames S.L. (Image credit: Source: CremaGames S.L.)

What you need to know

  • Temtem is a Pokémon-inspired MMO available only on Steam.
  • The game launched in early access on January 21, 2020.
  • It's currently the best-selling game on Steam with over 20,000 concurrent players.
  • It's unexpected popularity has led to long queues and lag for some players.

Game Freak's beloved Pokémon series just might have a run for its money with the launch of Temtem into early access on Steam on Tuesday. This massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) game is unabashedly a Pokémon-inspired adventure that does things that Game Freak has been unwilling to do.

In fact, Temtem is doing so well on its first day that it's currently the best-selling game on Steam with over 20,000 concurrent players at the time of this writing. And that's without there having been any pre-orders or previous games in the series to excite players.

Much like the series that inspired it, Temtem takes place on an Archipelago where Tamers run around and capture creatures called Temtem. There's an evil clan attempting to take over the land, so you will have to put a stop to them on your way to defeating all eight Dojo leaders and becoming the ultimate Temtem tamer. Sounds super familiar, right? Granted, the art style isn't as refined as Pokémon's and the creatures themselves don't look as good in my opinion, but I'm willing to look past this since this is a new IP and it's doing several things Game Freak has failed to do.

The biggest difference is that players can actually experience the story-driven game with friends. What's more, you can battle random players on the beaches or trade Temtem with them in a far more convienent manner than what's found in Pokémon. Your main character is customizable, with plenty of outfits, hairstyles, and accessories to make you stand out from the thousands of other players in the Temtem universe. So far, the only real downside we've seen is that the overwhelming popularity of this creature-collection game has caused some issues.

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With 20,000 concurrent players, the game has had a rough day. Some players are experiencing serious lag or queue times, which is making it hard to enjoy the new release. That being said, Temtem is solving a problem by bringing an energetic new look to the relatively stagnant creature-collection genre. If things continue to go well for Temtem, it's bound to have thousands of additional players join the online fun in the coming weeks. I'm excited to see where it will go and I hope it's success spurs Game Freak into making more innovative strides with the Pokémon franchise.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.