When you go to the movies, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a pre-show ad about the Noovie ARcade app, saying how you can play augmented reality games based on the image on the screen. The Noovie app attempts to enhance the movie theater experience with AR games, but for that to happen, users must find and download it first. So is Noovie’s App Store Optimization a cinematic hit, or will its theatrical run be cut short? For this week’s App Store Spotlight, we turn the camera to the Noovie ARcade app.
Noovie ARcade is the top-ranked app under searches for its name, as well as “movie theater games.” It also ranks #3 for “movies theater.” Those, however, are the only keywords it ranks in the top 5 for. It ranks #9 for “movies near me” and in the 20’s for specific theaters that include the app such as “century” (#24). It doesn’t rank for any augmented reality terms until “augmented reality app” at #31 and “augmented reality” at #33. The only arcade terms it ranks for are “capcom arcade” (#15) and “arcade games” at #39.
Creatives: Noovie ARcade uses landscape-style screenshots, showing the phone held by users with a game on the phone screen and a movie screen in the background. This does show how the app is meant to be used in movie theaters and illustrates its purpose.
As the creatives are landscape, only the first one will show up with the app in search results, so it’s important that it stands out and makes a good impression. In this case, it uses a video demonstrating the app’s games, which shows up in place of the screenshots. As the video alternates through the different games available, text on the top of the screen provides information about how the app works.
Each screenshot shows a different game in action, including the leaderboard and options to share scores on social media. While they do include callout text, the font is so plain and small that it may be difficult for users to read at a glance. It’s a surprising contrast to the bold, highlighted text from the video; a little more emphasis would help make the features the app has to offer even clearer.
The app only uses four screenshots, plus the video. While it does vary up the contents of the screenshots well, it has room to show off the different kinds of games it has available. The screenshots only show a space invader-styled game, a racing game and a game based around movie theater popcorn. The video shows that it has more games available than just those, so it could call them out in further screenshots.
Title & Subtitle: The app’s title, “Noovie ARcade,” uses 13 of the 30 characters the App Store allows. It has room to include further information about the app, like “cinema games,” which would then be added to its keyword bank.
Its subtitle, “Movie Theater AR Games,” uses 22 characters. It has room for eight more characters, although the terms that it uses are informative and valuable keywords. While it does use the title and subtitle well, there’s enough empty space that it could build its keyword bank further by adding more to them.
Description: The iOS description for Noovie ARcade is rather bare bones. While it does provide the pitch and value of the app by talking about how it can play augmented reality games on the movie screen, it’s all a single lengthy paragraph.
There are many ways this could be improved. Breaking the one paragraph into a few smaller lines will make it easier for users to get an understanding of the app just by glancing over the screen and provides a clearer look at each value. Equally important is the lack of feature sets.
If the description were to include a list of features, such as “Augmented Reality Gaming,” “Enhance the Movie Going Experience,” and sets calling out the variety of games it has to offer, it could intrigue users and provide more information. For instance, it could include a section about its shooter game or racing game to appeal to fans of those genres. When it has games tying in to upcoming or new movies, as it did for “Wreck-It Ralph 2,” it could include a section about that game to leverage the hype around the movie. In that case, it would have to ensure that it has permission from the movie studio first.
Adding in feature sections for the app would provide a clear and in-depth look at everything it has to offer. This helps encourage users who are looking at the app to install it, whether they find it in search or are curious after seeing an ad for it in theaters. In addition, utilizing the keywords throughout the description helps improve its relevancy for Search Ads.
On Google Play, Noovie ARcade is the top app under searches for “arcade,” as well as #2 for “movie games.” It also ranks well in the search results for several keywords connected to the movie theaters that support it, such as “AMC apps” and “Regal app,” where it’s #5 for each. Although it’s the top result for “arcade,” it’s only #15 for “arcade game” and #51 for “arcade games.” It also doesn’t rank for augmented reality terms until “AR apps” at #246, which is very close to the 250 cap Google places on Play Store search results.
Creatives: The Noovie ARcade creatives on Google Play are very similar to the iOS version. The video is identical, while the photos all show the device being held in front of a movie screen. The only difference between the creative sets is Google Play includes one stating “arrive early to play” that shows a game set in a theater lobby.
The text for the Google Play images is a little larger than on iOS, making it easier to see. The plain font choice still makes it visually unengaging, whereas a more vibrant style would draw attention to it more effectively.
Description & Metadata: The Google Play description is identical to the iOS description, which prevents it from indexing for many keywords as well as it would like. This falls short in two ways:
First, it is not formatted in a way that helps it index for keywords. Google Play descriptions should be written with the Play Store’s algorithm in mind, which crawls the description from the start of each line and sentence for keywords. If the description were to start its lines with important keywords, like “Free movie games” (which it currently ranks #28 for) it could index for them better.
Secondly, the lack of feature sets means the description offers little in the way of information about the app itself. Including feature sets could call out the various games it has to offer, how it works as an augmented reality app and more. This would provide more engagement for users, so they could quickly look at the features and see games that appeal to them. The feature sets would also provide more places to utilize keywords such as “augmented reality” and “AR games,” which would help its indexation for those terms.
Noovie ARcade advertises itself in movie theaters before the show, but that is no substitute for proper App Store Optimization. Good ASO can increase its discoverability within the App Stores and searches, as well as increase its conversion rate for users who find it through search and due to the ads. Knowing the app exists isn’t enough to convince users to download – the store pages must also highlight all its benefits and features to seal the deal.
If it were to include more screenshots that showcased more of its games and features and reworked its descriptions to better appeal to users and the stores’ algorithms, it could improve its visibility and conversions. There are many game, augmented reality and movie keywords that could be beneficial to the app’s visibility if it were to target them. As it is now, Noovie ARcade still has some retakes to do before it’s on the road to stardom.