A Temtem battle beginsSource: Crema

If you're tuned into the Pokemon scene, you may have heard discussion lately about a new game called Temtem that looks kind of like Pokemon, but is also very much not Pokemon. Though monster capturing and battling RPGs have existed outside of Pokemon for years, Temtem is getting particular recognition thanks to it being an MMO, as well as it having interesting monster designs and deep customization.

You must tame every last one!

Temtem

New monsters, new world

Temtem is a monster battling RPG along the lines of Pokemon, but with plenty of differences. It's a new world with entirely new monsters to tame and battle with, deep character customization, and because it's online, it functions as an MMO as well so you can play with hundreds of others around the world.

Curious about the world of Temtem? So were we. So here are the highlights of what we've learned about Temtem during its early access period ahead of its Nintendo Switch launch:

What is Temtem?

Temtem is a new monster catching and battling RPG that just launched in early access on Steam. In it, you play as a new Temtem tamer who travels out into the world, puts together a squad of sentient monsters called Temtem, and battles fellow Temtem tamers using those monsters.

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Sound familiar? Temtem is very reminiscent of another monster catching and battling RPG you may have heard of, and that's for good reason...

Is Temtem related to Pokemon?

Exploring the Airborne Archipelago in TemtemSource: Crema

Temtem is technically not connected to Pokemon in any way. It isn't made by the same people, it doesn't include any of the same monsters or characters, and does not reference Pokemon at all. However, it is heavily inspired by Pokemon, so if you already know how to play Pokemon, you'll immediately feel at home in the world of Temtem.

The similarities between the two are immediate and obvious, and go beyond just the basic conceit of capturing and battling Temtem. For example, Temtem are captured after battling them in the wild, can level up, grow their stats, evolve, can only have four moves to use in battle at a time, have types that are effective or ineffective against other types of Temtem, and can be bred to make more Temtem. Temtem tamers can have six Temtem in their party at a time, can battle one another, trade their Temtem, catalog Temtem in an encyclopedia, and go through a similar challenge to the Pokemon Gym challenge. Those are only some of the similarities -- there are many more that you'll encounter as you play Temtem.

What are the biggest differences between Temtem and Pokemon?

In a Temtem battleSource: Crema

That said, one of the most interesting thing about Temtem is where it differs from Pokemon. Aside from the fact that all the characters, Temtem, and the world are entirely new, there are a number of mechanical differences between Temtem and Pokemon that you'll want to be aware of.

  • Temtem have types (fire, water, nature, etc), but what those types are and the way those types affect one another can be very different from Pokemon. You'll immediately notice it when you have to choose between your three starting Temtem, whose types are Crystal, Melee, and Mental, respectively.
  • Most Temtem battles are double battles, meaning two Temtem fight two other Temtem. This changes the combat in meaningful ways as you play, since Temtem must work together and contend with two opponents at once (or, occasionally, one very strong opponent).
  • Instead of each Temtem ability having PP, Temtem have Stamina that must be monitored as you use moves in battles. Overdo it, and your Temtem will become exhausted and take damage.
  • There are far more status conditions beyond the handful included in Pokemon, and they affect Temtem differently than they do Pokemon. Visit the Accademia in Brical del Mar to learn what they all are and how to contend with them in battle.
  • Temtem is an MMORPG, meaning you'll see other online players at the same time that you're playing and can interact with them in some ways.
  • Temtem's story is far more difficult than Pokemon's, and you'll need to grind levels as well as pay close attention to strategy in order to progress.
  • In Temtem, you'll pick up quests from NPCs that you can complete for rewards. Though that's technically the case in Pokemon (in the sense that characters will ask you for things you can bring them), in Temtem a quest log tracks this for you at all times.
  • Temtem evolve just like they do in Pokemon, but instead of evolving at a certain level, they evolve at a certain level achieved after you capture them. For example, Kaku evolves 11 levels after you capture it, so if you capture a level 4 Kaku, it will evolve once it reaches level 15.

How do I play Temtem?

The world of TemtemSource: Crema

There are essentially two main gameplay components to Temtem: exploration, and battles. Once you've created your character and customized them, you'll be guided to choosing your first Temtem. There's no wrong answer here, as each Temtem has unique strengths and weaknesses, so pick the one that appeals most to you.

From there, you'll be guided forward on your adventure. Talk to everyone you meet to learn new information about the world you've found yourself in, stock up on items at the town shops, and head out into the world. As you progress, you'll encounter tall, grassy areas where wild Temtem may jump out at you for a fight, so if you're trying to avoid a fight, stay out of the grass. If you're hurt, head to a Temporium to heal your team or use items.

You'll also see other Temtem tamers out in the world with you. In towns, they usually won't want to battle and will just offer information if you speak with them. Between towns, many tamers will want to battle you and will do so if you walk into their line of sight, so be careful. You'll also see other tamers walking around, though if they don't have a combat symbol above their heads, you can't battle them.

Keep an eye out for items scattered around the world in small boxes on the ground as you travel!

How do battles work in Temtem?

A Temtem dojoSource: Crema

There are two kinds of battles: battles with untamed Temtem, and battles with other tamers. Untamed Temtem battles are usually instigated randomly by walking around in tall grass, and can include one or two Temtem. You'll send out the first two Temtem in your party to fight them, and can select one from four attacks per Temtem, per turn, to use. Your attacks can do damage, cause undesirable effects on opponents, or desirable effects on your teammates. Be sure to read each attack's description before diving in.

When a Temtem reaches 0 health, it will drop unconscious. If it's a wild Temtem, it will disappear from the battle. If it's yours, you'll have to swap to a new Temtem to continue the fight, unless you don't have any more left. Your goal in battles with untamed Temtem is to either defeat them entirely, or capture them using Temtem cards. Temtem cards are more effective at taming Temtem if you use them when the Temtem is weak, so bring down their health a bit before throwing one.

Battles with Temtem tamers are fairly similar, but you cannot tame other people's Temtem, so the goal is to fight until they are defeated. Additionally, tamers may have more than two Temtem, and will keep swapping new ones in until they run out.

Can I play Temtem with my friends?

The world of TemtemSource: Crema

You can! Temtem is an online MMORPG, so you can absolutely seek out your friends to trade and battle with in Temtem. That's about the extent of your interactions for now, though it can be fun to hunt Temtem side by side with those you know.

Is Temtem coming to Nintendo Switch?

A house in TemtemSource: iMore

Temtem is currently only available on PC via Steam, but it's planned for a Nintendo Switch release in May 2020.

Temtem is still in early access, which means that it's not fully polished and some features aren't available yet. That's okay, since it's launched through Steam's early access feature -- a full release is planned on Nintendo Switch in May when the game is out of early access. If you're playing now on PC, please be forgiving of areas that aren't fully complete (often marked by a WIP sign) or bugs you might encounter.

When can I get it?

Temtem is out now on PC via Steam, and costs $35. It will launch on consoles, including Nintendo Switch, in May 2020.

You must tame every last one!

Temtem

New monsters, new world

Temtem is a monster battling RPG along the lines of Pokemon, but with plenty of differences. It's a new world with entirely new monsters to tame and battle with, deep character customization, and because it's online, it functions as an MMO as well so you can play with hundreds of others around the world.

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