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Pokemon Sword and Shield Wild Area search app lets you explore and learn about Pokemon

(Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Wild Area introduces an open-world environment to the series where you'll encounter all levels of Pokemon as well as other players online, and you can explore that portion of the map today. The Wild Area search app is out now and lets you zoom around Google Maps Street View-style and learn about the different Pokemon inhabiting the diorama.

As you'll see, the app uses a 3D diorama to represent the Wild Area rather than the actual in-game engine. Click around using the arrow at the bottom of the screen to see other parts of the map, and click on any Pokemon you see for a bit of official information. Keep in mind though, for now the app can only present Japanese text, which sends Google Translate into a tizzy. If you don't speak Japanese, look at it this way: you get to wander around a 3D replica of Pokemon Sword and Shield's Wild Area with some entertainingly jumbled words and phrases thrown in as a bonus. A few of the Pokemon even have little animations when you click on them.

The Wild Area search app should provide some distraction while you wait out the week until Pokemon Sword and Shield release this Friday. The latest trailer teased a few new Pokemon and features coming to Sword and Shield's lovely UK-inspired Galar region.

If you have the patience of a saint, keep an eye on Sword and Shield discounts when Black Friday game deals start appearing later this month.