There’s nothing like discovering a new Pokemon for the first time. As someone who’s never played a Pokemon game before Sword and Shield (bar the trading card game), I mean that wholeheartedly. The way the camera zooms in on the silhouette of an unknown creature, before revealing it in all its horrifying or mystical glory is a special feeling, because literally anything could be unveiled.
Pokemon Sword and Shield have some lovely newcomers. There’s creatures of all shapes and sizes debuting in the Galar region: a sheep that rolls around fields, a big monkey that plays a drum, and even a cream-based Pokemon that gets put to work in various cafes. We’ve picked out our favorite newcomers to Pokemon Sword and Shield, a lovely colorful collection of creatures that demonstrate the sheer pull of artistic charm from Game Freak.
Yes, Pokemon Sword and Shield are based on England. Yes, there’s a Pokemon based on a teapot. It was only natural that Game Freak was going to drum up a Pokemon based on England’s infamous (?) love of tea.
I actually like the design of Polteageist though. It’s like a riff on a genie in a bottle, but with a more enigmatic creature trapped inside a tiny object that roughly resembles England as a nation.
This hulking thing was once my beloved Grookey. Now Grookey is gone, and all that’s left is an oversized gorilla on his back legs beating a massive drum and jamming in rhythm to a beat that only he can hear.
Rillaboom is an absolute tank. I powered through five Gyms in Sword and Shield almost with Rillaboom alone, summoning vines out of the ground with his drum to ensnare and presumably tear apart the Pokemon I faced off against. Rillaboom is definitely the best final evolution between Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble, not just because he’s definitely the most intimidating.
Yes, we love Wooloo. It might have been one of the first Pokemon revealed for both Sword and Shield, but it’s a testament to Wooloo’s loveable design that we’re still infatuated with it even after having seen tons of other new creatures from the Galar region.
Up until Sword and Shield released, we’d never seen any footage of Wooloo moving around. This was actually something really nice that Game Freak held back on, because seeing Wooloo rolling around a field for the first time and crashing through gates painted a grin right across my face.
I love this strange, deranged bird. Cramorant looks like that one creature at the zoo that’s definitely seen some shit while it’s been locked up. It has that haunted look in its eyes, and it’ll definitely screech at you if you get too close.
Cramorant has the usual ‘Dive’ move, where it’ll vanish underwater (even if there’s no water around), and emerge one turn later to strike its foe. The twist here is that it’ll sometimes emerge with a Pokemon in its mouth, which it can shoot out at its enemy for bonus damage. Talk about a weirdly specific creature design.
Sand + Anaconda = Sandaconda.
What the hell is thing thing. I mean, I know what it is—it’s a snake that’s wrapped its body around its head—but what is it? Sandaconda is the sort of creature that makes me think there are probably children in the Pokemon universe that are utterly terrified of the creatures roaming the land.
Apparently a Pokemon resembling a teapot wasn’t enough for Game Freak, so they came up with a Pokemon resembling… whipped cream? I imagine someone at Game Freak looked at a scone piled high with cream and felt inspired to create Alcremie.
The reason I really love the design of Alcremie is because of its Dynamax form. Instead of just getting bigger, Alcremie transforms into an entire cake when Dynamax is used. If people in the Galar region use Pokemon for their sausages, do you reckon they consume Dynamax Alcremie for their cake?
This idiot looks like me in high school. There was that weird time when Bring Me the Horizon were at their peak in the late 2000’s, where all the emo kids around tried to imitate Oli Sykes’ fringe. Morgrem personifies that teenage inner angst, except it’s not really “inner” any more.
This creature is like a ninja octopus. The first time you see a Grapploct, it’s just sitting there waiting for you on Route 9. I think I almost screamed when it ran head-on at me while I rounded the corner. Grapploct looks and acts like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles enemy, bouncing around on the tip of its tentacles, getting ready to slap the enemy creature repeatedly.
I haven’t just listed the Pokemon on this page to point out the dumb creatures that have made me chuckle. Look at the sheer variety of the creatures in all shapes and sizes above, and tell me that this isn’t one of the most colorful and charming games you’ve seen all year.
I think sometimes we take Pokemon for granted. Any way you shake it, Game Freak’s series has been a staple of the entire industry for nigh on three decades now. Game Freak has spent more time creating colorful creatures from scratch than I have been alive. That’s an achievement in longevity that should be celebrated. So thank you, Game Freak.