Most graphics software tries to make your photos look better. Grungetastic takes a different approach, reducing colours, adding layers of scratches, dirt and grime, tearing borders, and generally leaving your images looking as though they've been left in a box in your garden for a very long time.

Why? Strange as it seems, trashing your pictures in this way can transform some of them into real works of art. Forget the feeble "oil painting" or "old photo" effects you get with some photo editors, Grungetastic combines so many filters, textures and distortions that the results can be very impressive indeed. (Don't take our word for it: check the gallery at the bottom of the official "Grungetastic Story" page to see for yourself.)

All this power doesn't make the program difficult to use, though. At a minimum, all you have to do is open an image, and click the "Randomize" button (the dice icon, top-right). Grungetastic will randomly combine a range of styles, and you can either save the result (in the full version, anyway - "Save" is disabled in the trial) or click "Randomize" and try again.

And if you need more control, there are separate options for "Tone", "Contrast", "Grit", "Paper Strength", and more. Helpful tooltips do a reasonable job of explaining what these do, but you don't have to understand the low-level details - just drag each individual slider to fine-tune the image.

These settings were mostly very effective, too, but occasionally we would have liked a few more. The ability to tweak brightness alone would have been particularly useful, although of course you can always adjust the finished image later in another application.

Verdict

It doesn't work with every image, but point Grungetastic at the right source material and it can create some amazing aged photo or grimy pop poster effects. The price is reasonable, too, particularly for the mobile apps ($0.99 iPhone, $1.99 iPad).