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Mark Smillie shows ??Array,? a game that he created for iPhone and iPad devices. / Mike Bradley

Got a smartphone and a lot of time on your hands?

Mark Smillie of Brighton, New York has invented the game for you - Array.

Array starts at level one with two blocks. Players tap the blocks in any order. If they guess the correct order, they move on to the next level, with three blocks. They tap those in a sequence. If they get the right sequence, they move to another level, and so on, up to a maximum of nine blocks.

"Basically it's just figure out the sequence. It's just a guessing game. This is brain-dead simple," Smillie said.

Simple yes, but not easy. Nine blocks can be organized in more than 360,000 different ways.

Players can buy coins and use them to get hints. That's how Smillie makes money from the game, which is free to download. Five coins cost $2.99. Eight coins cost $3.99. Each hint costs one coin.

Registered players can win coins by winning contests with other players.

Array fits neatly into the game genre called "masocore," a term that combines the words masochism and hardcore - games created with the intention to frustrate players.

"The whole point of the game is to be completely frustrating and annoying," said Smillie.

Apparently, there's a market for that. Since being released in the iTunes App Store last week, Array has been downloaded about 1,000 times, Smillie said.

Array is only available for iOS devices, but Smillie said he would create an Android version if there's enough interest.

Smillie's 16-year-old son, William, who did much of the coding for the game, talked to his friends at Pittsford Sutherland High School about the project when he was still working on it "and they kept saying, 'Come on, finish it, we want to play it.' "

Array is the first game made by Smillie, who usually makes apps for corporate clients, especially medical device companies. He runs his company, Earthmoves Productions, out of his home on Ambassador Drive.

"I was literally driving down the road and I just came up with the idea," Smillie said.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Smartphone game offers array of frustrating options

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