Fun and games with Opera 10 widgets

Opera 10 is available now, so if you're new to the Opera browser, you might want some widgets to extend its functionality. We have some fun widgets for you to check out.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
5 min read

If you've just started using Opera for the first time with the release of Opera 10 (download for Windows|Mac), you're probably looking to add some widgets to your browser. But finding exactly what you need might take some time. That's why it's best to start with Opera's "Fun and Games" widgets. They're perfect for those times at work when you want to forget about the day and just zone out for a few minutes.

Fun and games with Opera

25 Square Puzzle If you enjoyed Lights Out, an electronic puzzle from the 1990s, you might like 25 Square Puzzle.

Unlike Lights Out, 25 Square Puzzle wants you to turn lights on. As you start clicking on different blocks in the game, you'll find that based on the block you click, other lights will turn off. You'll need to find the right combination to get all the lights on in as few clicks as possible. It's much harder than it sounds. Try it out.

25 Square Puzzle
Try to get all those lights on in 25 Square Puzzle. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Basketball Basketball is an extremely simple Opera widget, but it's also quite fun once you learn how to play.

Basketball places a basketball hoop to the left of your screen and a ball underneath the hoop. At the top of your screen, you'll find a scoreboard. The goal is to score as many points as possible within the allotted time. To do so, you'll need to click on the ball at the right angle to "shoot" it into the hoop. It's a tough game to get used to, but once you do, you'll probably find yourself sneaking games when no one is looking.

Basketball is a fun, addicting game. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Brainkrieg If you're looking for a brain teaser to start your day, Brainkrieg is the widget for you.

The app lets you play a handful of games through its "Daily Training" menu. They range from simple games, like remembering which block changed when it crossed a plane, to arithmetic questions that require you to figure out the missing number in a simple equation. Brainkrieg is addictive and fun. Check it out.

Do some simple math with Brainkrieg. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Bubbles If you're a fan of puzzle games, Bubbles is a widget that will definitely keep you occupied for as long as you require.

Although the game has been re-created in numerous places, Bubbles displays a grid of colored "bubbles." Your job is to click on as many of the same-colored bubbles as possible. The more bubbles you eliminate with one click, the better your score. If you own a Windows Mobile device, you know the game as Bubble Breaker. In either case, the game is quite fun. Simply click on the bubbles and rack up points. It doesn't get much easier than that, does it?

Bubbles is ideal for puzzle lovers. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Daily Crossword There are several options on the Web to work on crosswords. But I think you might just like Daily Crossword a little better.

Daily Crossword is simple, but effective at delivering an appealing crossword experience. Above the blocks, Daily Crossword features the topics running down and across. When you think you have the answer, you can simply click on the box you want to fill in, input a letter, and move on. If you need some help, the app even features clues. As the name might suggest, Daily Crossword changes every day, so when you get into work in the morning, you'll have a fresh crossword puzzle waiting for you.

Daily Crossword
Daily Crossword is definitely worth trying out. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Galaxy Fighter If you're a fan of taking down aliens, Galaxy Fighter might be the game for you.

Galaxy Fighter is simple: control the ship that runs across the bottom of the screen with your arrow keys and shoot the floating objects with your control key (command key on Mac OS X). The enemies come at you with greater speed and frequency as you work your way through the levels. Every four levels, you'll be thrown into a boss fight. The controls take a little getting used to (your character moves around the screen too quickly at times), but once you get the feel for it, I think you'll like Galaxy Fighter.

Galaxy Fighter
Galaxy Fighter is for the galactic warrior. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Ninja Ropes Extreme Ninja Ropes Extreme is one of the more addictive games in this roundup.

The widget presents you with a ninja that's falling to the ground. But thanks to its handy ropes, the ninja can stay up and move across the screen. To help the ninja do that, you'll need to click on the circles that run across the top of the game's screen. When you do so, the ninja shoots the rope toward the circles to stay up. The goal is get as far as possible without watching your ninja plummet to the ground. After I learned exactly how to play, I was hooked. Definitely try out Ninja Ropes Extreme.

Ninja Rope Extreme
Ninja Ropes Extreme will help you pass the day. Opera

PipePanic PipePanic is another puzzle game that challenges your wits. The game requires you to build a piping system that will transfer water from one area to another without any leaks.

PipePanic is an interesting game. It's not the most difficult game in this roundup, but it's certainly addictive. Just how long you'll be addicted is hard to say. My guess is that you'll find some real value in PipePanic for a while, but you'll eventually spend more time with some of the other widgets in this roundup.

PipePanic doesn't want you to drip water. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Sudoku-X Sudoku-X is an ideal platform for those who like to play Sudoku.

When you start using Sudoku-X, you'll notice that it eases you into tougher Sudoku puzzles. If you're more advanced, you can set your difficulty level to have the puzzle match your skill level. In either case, Sudoku-X is designed well. It's a fine alternative to so many other sites that offer Sudoku puzzles. It's convenient, responsive, and simple. Check it out.

Sudoku-X is a great way to play the popular puzzle game. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Torus Torus is one of my favorite Opera widgets. And if you're a Tetris fan, you'll likely agree with my sentiment that Torus is a must-see.

Instead of playing Tetris in the typical 2D fashion, Torus changes it up by creating a circular stand for Tetris pieces. As blocks start falling towards the platform, you'll need to use your arrow keys to rotate the platform and fit the block in the appropriate section. If the blocks get too high, you lose. The game's design is quite nice, the controls are simple, and like Tetris, it's extremely fun to play. It will take some time to get used to Torus, but once you do, you'll be happy with what you find.

Torus is a fun, Tetris-like game. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. Torus: Tetris on a circular platform? Awesome.

2. Basketball: Maybe it's because I'm a sports fanatic, but I love the Basketball widget.

3. Bubbles: Bubbles is an extremely addictive game that you should add to your Opera widgets listing.