Oh goodie, joy joy, Oh happy day! I am a happy Pinkie. This week the early access ( version 0.5.5) of Temtem became available on Steam. In this game you capture mysterious but powerful creatures using Temcards to fill your Tempedia. You use up to six of these creatures to battle your opponents, like random tamers but also an evil team and 8 dojo masters to become the very best. However this time it is an MMO, sometimes you will need to make friends to traverse a dungeon, there are plenty of quests to do (admittedly with very weak rewards usually) and tons of fun to be had. So I decided to spend a lot of time into becoming a Temtem tamer. I will update you regularly on my journey and maybe talk about these creatures a bit as well.
Creating my Tamer
Temtem is a game made by Crema. A self proclaimed group of five monkey’s developing games. What a sweet one these five monkey’s made now. This collectable creature game of course has obvious similarities towards my beloved Pokémon games and in many ways can feel as much as a clone as Mighty Number 9 was to Mega Man and how A Hat in Time is basically Super Mario Sunshine with hats instead of a douche. Unorginal? Maybe.. but I am tremendously happy with it. It really looks likes this game is one that can push the collectable creature game to be more of a defined genre. Very few of these games have been successful and just like how the Soulsborn genre has very similar feelings throughout all games I think the Pokétem subgenre of collectable creature games could really boost the quality of all games.
While I was extremely happy with Sword and Shield and am very welcoming of a rival that can push them and itself to greater heights. It did not take me longer than a few steps to realise that these five monkeys clearly know Pokémon and the community very well which is shown throughout the game , playfully dealing with many issues most fans have with the pokémon series. At some elements for more social interaction and I might hold a gem right here.
My journey starts with a que , after waiting for about four minutes I get trough and can finally make my tamer. I start out by making her an outfit of white shorts and a pink long sleeve. She also wears pink shoes. Her backpack is a adorable small one.. not one of those bulky ones with all sorts of things sticking out.
I pick out a face (so many ugly ones here) and dye my hair in a pink two tone. With a lighter base colour and a more saturated pink in the points. It’s not very noticable but my hair feels quite lively and I do like it. The graphical style of Temtem is something that really agrees with me anyway. There is a simplicity to it that I find really charming. It’s kind of like the current generation of saturday morning cartoons.
It isn’t exactly mindblowing at first glance but it allows you to do so much more with it. By choosing a style like this we may not be blown out of our seats by spectacular designs but we also get a lot less of the same. Random Tamers are designed with the same tool so everyone you battle feels much more unique opposed to this game’s bigger more famous cousin. Because assets are kept simple there is more they can use. Colours seem more exaggerated with a focussed on a combination on very saturated colours with plenty of pastels as well. This makes every building feel more unique and less “tileset like” than in pokémon. Custom Tamers are very diverse from the start and I haven’t encountered a look alike yet. Enough about the looksies though! I named my character Pinkie Paradise (as Pinkie was already taken of course.. MMO issues) and I could begin my journey. Oh I also could choose my preferred pronoun but as per this version of the game, dialogue isn’t fixed for it yet. Yet I have not a single doubt that it will.
Picking my Starter
I was immediately happy when the game did not begin with a professor giving a monologue. Instead i was awoken from my bed, just like how any game rpg should start in my opinion by a woman named Aina. I think she adopted me cause she keeps using my last name as well! Of course I do know it’s because I just picked surnamed character, so I just imagine I play a bit of a Lolita (the dress wearing kind) youtuber that is addressed by her handle. My character doesn’t call Aina mother but just calls her Aina .. so adopted it is! Even if characters later tell me I am Aina’s kid.
I am told it’s the evening where I become a tamer and get my starter. After which I go study Temtem in Briçal de mar. Thanks for choosing that c with a squiggly below it by the way Crema, it’s such a hassle to make that appear! I have to find your wiki, copy page, delete background colour etc. Anyway the whole town is there to wish me luck, I can press F to chat with them, I have to admit I spend a lot of time trying to interact with my tv and bookcases trying to see if there was a movie with four boys on a railroad on tv. I can’t interact yet with objects maybe I never will. There was a trash can later on though! When I obtained a surfboard upon beating the first Dojo there was also a truck on a hidden piece of land I could interact with…but I am getting ahead of myself.
After messing about for a bit , I make my way to the Temtem lab of Professor Konstantinos. Luckily his name has no weird squigglies. He’s pretty old but he is rather jovial. He doesn’t wear a labcoat either, which is kind of stupid to begin with. Why would a field researcher or someone who interacts with living creatures a lot ..in a friendly non cage-like way wear a white lab coat anyway?! The guy is nice and notices that my rival called Max already has a Temtem. So he doesn’t need a starter and I get to pick one of three.
My choices are Crystle, a green crystal type turtle/pig like quadruped. Then we have Smazee, it’s a melee type shaggy monkey with a huge smile and the potential power of friendship. Finally there is Houchic the mental temtem. This one is a special attack focussed temtem that kind of looks like a levitating baby with tentacles on its head and white hair. It’s body is purple and it is a big tail. Given that my OC in one of my roleplay campaigns is a flying eldritch baby with tentacles on her head and the power to control minds I choose Houchic and name it Luma, after my character. Luma Temtem however also exist in this world. They are alternatively coloured temtem who have some short of shine to them. Unfortunately for me Luma is not luma.
After I put Luma in a card , which are the capturing devices in this world, Max begins to whine and moan about not getting one. However his Oree is the rare and elusive Digital type, which the professor says ..is already powerful enough. So In pokémon terms I guess the rival begins with a dragon type. Nice that means I am going to beat the shit out of the bratty kid during our first battle. The rival battle does indeed happen. Here we are introduced to a few mechanics in Temtem that I really like. There is no limited uses on moves, Instead they all draw from your stamina pool. A finite number that very slowly increases again over time. You can regain it faster by ordering a temtem to rest. It is possible to overspend (once) when your stamina is to low, but the remainder of the cost comes from your health points and after the temtem has to take breather.
Moves have all sorts of priority brackets, depending on how they are used. All moves have arrows >> like these that show what priority it has. Most moves fall in the >> category. However a simple kick, scratch or peck for example all belong in the >>>+ category. Attacks that require a large charge up usually fall in the > category. This means battling in Temtem already has a lot more depth. You have to manage your resources well, there is no need to finish a opponent of with a move that costs 23 stamina if you could finish it off with a weaker move that only costs 8. You can’t just slap ultra destructive moves on your creatures either. You have to take speed , stamina and typings into consideration.
Yet there is more! All moves either have one or two elemental coloured blocks at their name. If there is two, your temtem can only use such a move every other turn and never in the first either. They are oftenly light on stamina and high on damage..but they risk your temtem taking some extra damage. So Luma can only kick on her first turn and misses.. just my luck! “Oh well next turn I will hit him with my mental…..NANI! I got oneshotted?!” CRAB CAKES! FROWNEY STORMY CLOUD! Max is a grade A Meanie-Bo-Beanie. Blue/Gary Oak would look at the guy and think… eh that the guy scores a little high on the Handsome Jack scale. In fact Handsome Jack would probably look at this kid and think… I should use protection more, before shooting Max in the face of course.
Luckily I get a price for losing. Professor Konstantinos gives me a Tuwai, a wind Temtem that looks like Toucan Sam’s kid. I named it Nuggets. In the campaign that features Luma, Nuggets is a Chicken Bard..who sings ,steals and has a blow dart to toss feathers at his opponents. I also get five temtem cards. Which I can use to catch Temtem. Now I have to make my way to that town with the squiggly c in its name to study at the accademia. Meanwhile I should catch me some temtem. Now that we have two Temtem the real gameplay of the game is beginning to show. You Temtem up (basically It’s time to D-D-D-Duel of this world) by tossing not one but two temtem into battle. This for the biggest part also applies to wild encounters, though on occasion you might encounter a single temtem. It adds a lot more depth in battle, but more on that the next time. It is basically like the Pokémon Coliseum games, but instead of just stealing shadow creatures from your opponent this time you can capture anything in any wild encounter. So it’s sort of those gamecube games finally done right.
You never get a capture tutorial, it works exactly like it does in Pokémon..the lower the health the bigger the capture chance. Status will most likely help as well , but on my first steps I never had a status inflicter which could try this for me. Nor did I encounter situations up until this point where captures are very difficult. What is new with statuses though is that they only last a limited amount of turns and there are quite a few more of them…but again this is something for the next post. Any temtem can hold up to two statuses , so catching will get a new depth as well. If you weakened the other temtem enough you throw your card..which then will spin around them rapidly scanning and digitising them in. This scanning has three stages. If it makes it past all three the temtem is captured and now in your card.
From here you can nickname it (do so right away because there right now is no way to change it ..even though this will be added soon). Unlike with Pokémon, temtem trainers aren’t complete bumbling fools when there is more than one target on the field. If two different temtem appear you haven’t caught yet..you can catch them both in a single encounter. Such an improvement from pokémon. In old games when you encountered a double battle you had to knock out one pokémon first because otherwise “i’d be impossible to aim….herpaderp”. I felt the system worked nicely, the digitising sequence feels more rewarding than a pokeball rolling about, as you literally see your soon to be partner slowly be pixelated into your card. It really feels great.
While at least in the current build we do not have THAT much temtem to catch yet and some patches of tall grass (yes you encounter them in tall grass, bodies of water or cave floors) kind of feel barren in terms of diversity, it all feels great for grinding and luma hunting. You can adapt your team to grind against the wild encounters of your choosing (to an extend) and you do not have to click through loads of encounters to catch special ones. Everything seems quite well thought out. While I made my way to Briçal de mar I captured everything I would find and added them to the Tempedia. I only added a Sawli and a Tateru to my team though. Respectivly a cocoon that looks like it skinnend an Umbreon but stares at your really cutely so you forgive it of the nature element (Swali) and a tall panda bunny pig thing that likes to dance. (Tateru) After a fairy long travel I reached the second town..ready to increase my knowledge… but that is a story for next time!
More posts on Temtem
From Trainer to Tamer: Road to Temtem (Outdated)