Viral Pokemon map has Sword & Shield players questioning Galar region

Brent Koepp
Screenshot of Sword & Shield starter Sobble next to Pokemon Black & White protagonist N.

A Pokemon fan’s artwork that reimagines Black & White’s map in the same style as Sword & Shield has players questioning the Galar region’s design.

Despite releasing over a decade ago, Pokemon Black & White has become wildly popular with players in the past few years. The Gen V title is now considered a classic in the long-running Game Freak series.

A fan’s recreation of Unova region’s map in the same style as 2019’s Sword & Shield has some in the community questioning whether Gen 8’s world was really big enough.

Screenshot of Pokemon Sword & Shield Wild Area.
A viral Unova map has Sword & Shield fans asking if Galar was big enough in Gen 8.

Viral Unova Pokemon map sparks Sword & Shield debate

Popular artist ‘EliteRobo‘ went viral after posting their stunning concept to the r/PokemonSwordAndShield subreddit, and showed the community what the Unova Region’s world layout would look like using Gen 8’s art style.

The custom map highlighted the stark difference between the 2010 and 2019 title, as Sword & Shield opted for a more linear pathway that goes up and down.

Gen V in comparison is more circular and has players zig-zagging across various directions. The contrast between the two titles quickly sparked a debate among fans.

Many players were stunned by the differences, such as a user who wrote “With this, you can understand how Galar map is smaller and less detailed”. Others agreed, with another fan exclaiming “Makes me realize how small the Gen 8 map is in comparison to previous games”.

Screenshot of Pokemon players reacting to Unova Sword & Shield crossover map.

While many were critical of Sword & Shield’s world design, several players defended the Nintendo Switch title, arguing that it’s bigger than it looks on paper. “The gen 8 map isn’t really that small though. There just aren’t a lot of routes pretty much half of it is made up of the Wild area when excluding the DLC,” someone else said.

Screenshot of Pokemon reacting to viral Unova concept.

Although the top-down map view doesn’t entirely capture the depth of each title’s world, the artist’s concept gives us an interesting look at the direction Game Freak went with Sword & Shield.

Criticism aside, the Gen 8 RPG has been a major hit sales-wise. In 2020 reports, it was revealed that the Nintendo Switch release is on track to become the second best-selling game in the Pokemon franchise.

About The Author

Brent is a former writer at Dexerto based in the United States, who covered topics such as Pokemon, Gaming, and online Entertainment.