Temtem—PC's answer to Pokemon—has been fully released for almost a year, hatching out of early access in September 2022. Since then it's had four major patches, a handful of seasonal events, and has dug itself a cosy little nook into the market for those without a Switch, as well as seasoned Pokemon fans who want to shake things up a little.
Enter—very suddenly—Temtem Showdown. It's a free-to-play version of Temtem that dropped out of the blue yesterday, one which allows players to set up a roster of Temtem and hop into battle. It has some neat cross-pollination with the main game, too.
An official FAQ by Crema clarified a few things. Firstly, you can fight players who are in the base game and participate in TemCS, Temtem's official tournament system. Secondly, you can earn rewards to use in the base game—whether or not you own it—so it's a solid way to capture players who haven't yet bought into Crema's spin on the genre. As long as you have both Temtem and Temtem: Showdown on the same account, hopping between the two should be seamless. The only major downside is that you can't customise your trainer unless you own the base game.
It's a huge quality of life boost for anyone wanting to try out competitive Temtem, as the busywork of the genre's trappings—training, breeding, stat management—is stripped away. You hop on, get a team together, and fight stuff. Even the name Temtem: Showdown is a bit of an in-joke, sharing a subtitle with the unsanctioned Pokemon: Showdown, often used by competitive Pokemon enthusiasts to skip that same grind.
This seems both a genre-savvy and obvious choice: it's passive advertising for people still on the fence, it opens a barrier to entry that's plagued its Switch-exclusive competitor for years, and it lets you earn rewards for the base game. It looks like players can now simply treat Temtem as an MMO: they can focus on doing events, hunting for clothes, finding "Luma Temtem" (the game's Shiny equivalent) and exploring the world.