Wreck This App for iOS review

If you've ever heard of Keri Smith, then you'll probably be familiar with her bestselling books about creativity, including Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes, and Wreck This Journal. Now, Keri has teamed up with Penguin to create Wreck This App, an iOS version of her popular series.

In short, the books, and now the app, are designed to be inspirational and enable users to get creative by giving prompts such as 'fill this page with good thoughts' and 'doodle over the top of this page and in the margins.'

Wreck This App has over 50 pages to 'wreck', which can be achieved by using the power of imagination and the 12 tools found at the bottom of the page, including a pencil, smudge tool, drip tool and paintbrush. We like that you can use the camera tool to take photographs with your device while using the app, and we also like the drip tool, as moving the iPad or iPhone changes the speed and direction that the drip falls. It took us a few minutes to figure out that you can access other tools by scrolling the toolbar at the bottom, so we thought we'd point that out for you.

Some of the pages are quite fun, such as 'Choose a photo of yourself you dislike. Deface.' and 'Add a page from a magazine. Circle or record words you like.' But others, such as 'Tap this page' which simply makes holes in the page to reveal a wooden texture behind, seem pretty pointless and just a way to add more content to the app. For £5.49, we think that anyone thinking of buying the app should be really confident that their mind is creative enough to make a prompt such as 'Draw lines and smear them' occupy them for more than a few seconds.

There is something about the books that makes them better than the app in our opinion. For example, with the book, users are creating something solid, permanent and completely personal. It can be kept forever and looked at in years to come. The iPad even has an undo tool and an option to erase the entire page, which is completely cheating if you ask us! Of course, you can't take a photograph using a book, but at the same time, you can't stick things on your iPad, throw it out of the window, or take it in the shower with you (as Keri prompts in one of her books). We're not sure it works as well in an app form as it does using the traditional pen, paper, scissors and glue technique that make the books so much fun.

Once users have finished wrecking this app, they can share the creation with friends via email, Facebook or Flickr.

OUR VERDICT

If you’re a fan of Keri Smith’s books and you know that your attention span will hold out long enough to create something from simple prompts, then Wreck This App could be a worthwhile purchase for you. Also, a stylus to enable more precision would come in very handy when using this app. We’re not sure it’s worth the £5.49, we’d be far more content with a price tag around the £1.49 mark, in which case this app would have received at least 4 stars from us. Anyone who gets bored easily and rushes things in order to move on to the next step could be disappointed when it takes them ten minutes to complete the entire app.

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