Braid theme will cost you, but you can get the game for free

Even Soulja Boy would have to agree that this Braid theme is gorgeous, but beauty has a price – in this case, 250 MS Points, which translates into just over $3 in real world cash. If it’s any consolation, Braid‘s creator Jonathan Blow would have given it away for free if he had his way.

“Unfortunately, we had to charge the standard Premium Theme price…We want to make it free, but Microsoft doesn’t like giving things out for free,” said Blow on the game’s blog. “But if you do buy it, you can be secure in the knowledge that you own one of the few Premium Themes that is not an advertisement — there is no text in the Braid theme anywhere. (Seriously, Microsoft, what is with the Subway: Eat Fresh Theme?)”

But while big bad Microsoft has put the kibosh on free copies of the Braid theme, you can still get your hands on a free copy of Braid. To celebrate the theme’s dashboard debut, Blow is giving away 20 free copies of the game itself, granted you are among the first to correctly identify the teeny weeny snippets of screenshots from 10 somewhat obscure titles. The competition ends as soon as all the free copies are gone, or at 11:59pm GMT on March 23, 2009 — whichever comes first.