We're a bit late with this month's Can't Stop Playing, because we couldn't decide. But after some discussion, there is one clear answer. Temtem, the new PC game where you catch small monsters and battle them in teams, has taken over our office this past while.
Not just the RPS treehouse, mind. We grew the treehouse in the middle of an office full of people, and from our hallowed branches we can look down and see a bunch of other people playing it too. Temtem offers a rich, deep world of weird creatures, and yes it is a lot like Pokémon, but that's the fun. "Ooh," you go, looking at a bird with a big pointy beak, "that's basically Fearow, so maybe it has the same weaknesses."
Reader, it does not. The other half of the fun of Temtem is that it isn't Pokémon. It's a whole new menagerie to learn, including different elemental types and interactions to understand. It's like being transported back to 1997 all over again. You know when people say they wish they could experience [x pop cultural thing] for the first time again? Temtem is like that. And on PC! It's not even out of early access yet, and it is in many ways impressively complete.
It's not all unqualified praise though. Matt never played Pokémon when he was a kid so I am aching to know what he'll make of the format. (He said he "wasn't allowed" and that he was only allowed to play games on his PC, which made it sound like his parents had something against the pocket monsters specifically. I loved the idea that Pokémon was the only verboten game, and young Matt was forced to go to his room and play PC games - "None of that Nintendo filth in this house!" - until he patiently explained to me that it was because he already had a PC so his parents wouldn't buy him a new Ninty widget.) Sin has also been casting her eye on it, so will undoubtedly have something interesting to say, and I'm sure Nate has already written half a list of which Temtem could beat Jason Statham in a fight, or something.
Not that we've written nothing about Temtem so far, of course. Dave has been hammering out excellent Temtem guides, Cian Maher has been giving us some impressions, and I, like a parody of a person, am hot for teacher. What Temtem treasures might the next weeks bring? Only Temtime will Temtell.