Exercise your brain with this freeware game

Sudoku's a great way to give your mind something fun to worry about, and this new freeware Sudoku game is a good way to do it--despite the ugly interface.

There's little doubt that this new free Sudoku game sports an atrociously decorated interface, bedecked with smileys and butterflies. However, the game play itself in Free Sudoku 2008 is unimpaired, and the three levels of difficulty and timer actually make this a reasonable experience if you're looking to fret over number patterns for a while.

Free Sudoku 2008 features good gameplay but a hideous interface. (Credit: CNET Networks)

The game provides the timer, the difficulty level, a solution checker, and an "I-give-up" option on the right-hand side of the panel. The main panel is taken up by the game board, and has an interesting feature: players can enter up to nine numbers into one box. Some may call this cheating, but it makes strategizing easier for those visual thinkers out there. Of course, if you hit the "Check my solution" option with more than one number per box it'll mark those boxes wrong, but I found it to be a helpful tool.

Plastered at the top and bottom of the game are static ads for the game's publisher, Best-Web-Sites.eu. I was quite skeptical about this, but since LinkScanner verified the site as safe and virus and malicious software checks didn't freak out at the game's installation, I'll go on the record as recommending this 500KB install as a decent way to kill time and stretch your brain.