Developer: Penguin Group USA
Price: 4.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Wreck This App, based on the book “Wreck This Journal” by Keri Smith, is part  digital book, part creativity booster, part excuse for wanton destruction and a great way to start thinking outside of the box. Or more aptly, outside the lines and margins.

This digital book is meant to be scribbled on, ripped and defaced. Every page uses a remarkably varied assortment of creative tools from the device’s camera to paint brushes to allow users to achieve one simple end: wrecking the app.

There aren’t pages so much as what the app calls prompts, or directions. There are 54 in total, each with a simple directives like “doodle over the top of this page,” “scribble violently” or even “add a photo of dirt garbage, or stains.”

The interface is very simple and the 12 tools, which include a great spill tool that acts like very runny water paint, a text tool and even a “palette” to mix custom colors are responsive and well thought out.

The app’s greatest asset is also its liability. What allowed me to so readily drop my reservations about destroying a “book” was the knowledge that this is, after all, only an app. It has an eraser tool and no matter what I do to it I can start over with fresh white pages.

There is no actual sticking of gum (or worse), no actual cutting or literal drink-spilling. With the paper book the destruction is irrevocable. The “no-takebacks” element of the real life experience doesn’t fully translate.

But, then again this isn’t called, “Wreck This Journal – The App” so maybe all the “write carelessly” and “document an event in boring detail” instructions has me off point. Because as an app it’s clever, brilliantly adapted for iOS and a word I am loath to use since it’s so seldom true – unique. Whether as a fun distraction for kids of all ages or as a genuine shot-in-the-arm for writers block Wreck This App works.

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