Nintendo has announced that three new games based on the hugely successful Pokemon franchise are in development for its new handheld, the Nintendo DS, according to reports in Japanese magazine, Comic Korokoro.

The monster-catching franchise will gain Pokemon Torouze, Pokemon: Fushigi no Dungeon Blue and Pokemon Rangers, all of slightly different genres and to be released separately within the next 18 months.

Puzzle based title, Pokemon Torouze (loose translation: Get Pokemon) is the closest to completion, with a Japanese release date of October 20th. The main story mode has players taking the role of Lucy Lightfoot, who has to save the pocket monsters from a malevolent organisation via puzzle battles.

The objective is to erase falling puzzle pieces by vertically or horizontally matching the same kinds together. Each piece is shaped in the form of a Pokemon's face, with over 380 to collect by erasing them, to fill a specific quota given by the game. Both screens on the DS will be used to show the whole field of play.

Dungeon role-playing title, Pokemon: Fushigi no Dungeon Blue (Pokemon: Mystery of Dungeon Blue), will be the next game to follow, released in Japan this winter. While there are few specific details, it is expected to be an RPG with randomly generated dungeon maps, akin to Chunsoft's popular Fushigi no Dungeon RPG series. A Game Boy Advance version, Pokemon: Fushigi no Dungeon Red, is also expected to launch around the same time.

The final game revealed is Pokemon Rangers, an action RPG which has players assume control of the titular Ranger, fighting to protect nature and wildlife by using Pokemon. The title is planned to interact with other forthcoming DS games, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, both of which will release just after Rangers, at an unspecified date next year. The action RPG is also said to have a connection to 2006's Pokemon movie and anime series in Japan.

Pokemon Torouze, Pokemon: Fushigi no Dungeon Blue, and Pokemon Rangers all currently have no European or US release dates.