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Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery

By Smithsonian Institution

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.


Ever wondered what it’s like to work at the Smithsonian? With the sudden and curious departure of her last intern, Museum Curator Isabella Wagner needs your help solving a mystery dating back to the Civil War. Could there be ghosts trapped in the basement of the National Museum of American History?

Download Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery, to find out.

Assume the role of a Smithsonian intern to solve puzzles, find clues, decipher documents, and explore cartes de visite photographs from the museum’s collection. These small photographs were an early form of social media -- collected and shared with family members and friends in the mid-19th century.

Through stunning high resolution imagery the app simulates the type of investigative work done by Smithsonian curators, fellows, and interns while it provides players age 13+ with the same thrill of discovery our staff experience when solving an historical mystery. The game explores slavery and abolition, gender roles, and political differences between the North and South and gives players multiple perspectives on the causes, course, character, and outcomes of the Civil War.

PLEASE NOTE: The app includes beautiful 19th century photographs digitized from the Smithsonian’s collections and may take several minutes to download. We recommend connecting to Wi-Fi to download this app to help get you playing as soon as possible.

• Immerse yourself in the stories of everyday Americans during the Civil War
• Explore photographs and belongings of four 19th century Americans
• Find clues and analyze artifacts to discover their identities
• Decipher 19th century documents to uncover evidence
• Experiment with the science of 19th century photography using your iPad’s camera
• Create digital Cartes de Visite and share them on social media
• Designed for the iPad’s high resolution display

After playing the game, visit to learn more about the real stories and behind the scenes research that went into creating it.

Terms of Use:
Privacy Policy:
Teachers’ Guide:

What's New in Version 1.0.2

Minor bugfixes

iPad Screenshots

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Customer Reviews

Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery

I like this app because it is very entertaining. I love mysteries and I especially love educational mysteries. I'm not a big history buff at all and this app is perfect for people like me. I think children would love this app because they might not even realize they are learning stuff. This app is perfect for people that want to learn about the civil war and what happened during this time, while enjoying a fun mystery. If you are looking for a fun way to teach about the civil war, this app is a great way to do it!👍🏽

Pretty Good

Not bad. I like puzzles. This had a bit of a learning curve but I just kept poking around until I figured out the components. I even had to get up and walk away for awhile, because if you keep doing the same thing repeatedly without results it leads to a kind of self-inflicted madness. Once I got it though, it was fun and even (oh my!) educational.
I hope there are more puzzles coming.

Interesting, but redundant

There is certainly lots of history to be learned, but the puzzles were redundant. It also would have been nice to have clear directions as it initially wasn't clear what needed to be done.

Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery
View in iTunes
  • Free
  • Category: Games
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • Size: 926 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:
Rated 9+ for the following:
  • Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.

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