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Neighbors launch iPhone game app

IPhones, iPads, Androids and other handheld devices that use apps seem to be popping up everywhere, with companies constantly pumping out newer versions with innovative capabilities. Rexford neighbors Ken Malsan and Bryan O'Malley were eager to get in on the smart phone craze, and now they're smack dab in the middle of it with their game application that officially released on Nov. 1 and is available for use with iPhone, iTouch and iPad.

Cohabit is a game similar to Sudoku, but with a twist, challenging players to fill in a single board with numbers and colors without repeating any of them in the same column or row.

"I had about six game ideas this was one we both liked because it's sort of unique. It was something that Sudoku players would like and had an addictive nature to it," said Malsan.

Malsan said O'Malley mentioned to him that he was looking to get into the apps business and could use his web development company Avexa to make that happen. Malsan told his neighbor that he'd brainstorm some ideas.

"I was trying to see if I could layer two Sudokus on top of each other and that's sort of where the idea came up. Is it possible to do something like that? I started with a three-by-three grid, and once I got that to work, I kept going up until I reached seven-by-seven, which is where we stopped," said Malsan. "I love puzzles. I grew up in a game family playing a lot of games and puzzles, so this was a natural extension of that for me."

Once they had a concept, Malsan said the next step was to actually generate games with the proper quality controls and a scoring system.

"We needed it to be solveable without guessing. You can solve it without taking a hint because it's a puzzle, not a guessing game," said Malsan, who said he and O'Malley split up the labor, with him focusing on the game-aspect and O'Malley taking the reins on the design and development process. "It was hundreds of hours. We did a lot of nights of getting together while the kids were playing on the swing sets."

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