Astracraft is a colorful sandbox sci-fi combat game that was recently featured as Apple’s “Game of the Day” selection. Sandbox battle-royale games are becoming increasingly popular on mobile platforms, so it is no wonder why Apple decided to feature this epic game on the iOS App Store.
Astracraft takes place on Party Paradise, a world in danger of collapsing and rife with traps and dangerous enemies. Astracraft sets itself apart from similar games by allowing players to make the most of battle and creation features at the same time. In Create Mode players can customize battleships, mechs, and spacecraft, and build worlds and maps to battle in. In Battle Mode players can take their custom mechs into battle in a world of enemies, traps, and “The Storm Trial Circle.”
After their feature visibility fades, will Astracraft have what it takes to beat the competition and take home a victory in the iOS App Store while extending their reach to Android gamers as well?
iOS App Store - Title and Subtitle
In terms of keyword reach potential, Astracraft is underutilizing the available character space in the Title and Subtitle fields, which is detrimental to potential ranking and visibility. Apple uses these fields in conjunction with the back-end keyword bank to build relevant keyword phrases that increase the likelihood of an app being discovered.
By only including their branded title “Astracraft” they are missing out on a whopping 20 characters where they could be incorporating high-volume keywords. The Subtitle “sandbox & sci-fi combat” is a bit better, but only 23 of 30 available characters are utilized. Even adding “3D” to explain the gameplay to end-users in more detail could make more of this field by describing the app in a visible area while also contributing to targeted keyword potential.
Google Play Store - Title and Short Description
On the Google Play Store, the Title and Short Description fields are also important for indexation. The Title is the most heavily weighted field, so including high-volume keywords in the form of title tags is crucial. Similar to their listing on the iOS App Store, Astracraft is only using the 10-character branded title with no title tags, which leaves 40 characters of prime keyword space unused. Although Google will be changing the limit to 30 characters later in 2021, either way you look at it this field could use improvement.
The Short Description on the Google Play Store is the second most heavily weighted area in terms of keyword indexation. Astracraft’s Short Description, “Sandbox rover craft & combat game on mobile!” is using just over half of this space. This is another underutilized area that has plenty of room to include more keyword-focused explanations of the apps gameplay and what sets it apart from the competition.
Astracraft’s description is the same on the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, which isn’t always the best approach when formulating listing descriptions. While Apple provides a back-end keyword bank for app indexation and ranking, the Google Play Store relies solely on crawling the front-facing metadata. This means that the Full Description on the Google Play Store needs to be saturated with high-volume keywords to improve discoverability. Keyword inclusion is still important on the iOS App Store for Apple Search Ads Impressions, but the structure will differ on both platforms to best marry readability and indexation potential.
Astracraft’s description is not written in an optimal way for either platform, and the gameplay mechanics aren’t easily discernible from a quick readthrough. The description is broken down into five paragraphs that focus on different aspects of the app, but do not focus on more ubiquitous language users searching for a new mecha combat battle game may be interested in. For new users, understanding the concepts of “dual-mode device” battle may be simplified into terms they are more familiar with, then further explained later in the description. Changes like these can be tested in a Google Play Experiment in the Play Store; Search Ads discovery campaigns can be monitored in the App Store; keyword ranking on both platforms should also be monitored as changes are implemented.
The icon and screenshots for Astracraft both feature scenic backgrounds behind the brightly colored mecha characters. Character focused icons and screenshots can be a great strategy for app store creatives, especially combined with in-app imagery and user interface elements. Potential players get a glimpse at the exciting gameplay and customization features relative to the mechs, which could compel them to move forward with downloading and installing the game.
Astracraft’s screenshots do a great job incorporating UI elements and gameplay images, but the text has room for improvement. While the screenshots include large, bold text callouts, the font color and effects make the callouts harder to read on small screens. The visibility could be improved by either changing the color to contrast better with the background, or removing the skew effect to improve readability. As always, trends in design for each territory the app is available in should be taken into account, and any changes should be first tested in a Google Play Experiment or through Apple Search Ads creative sets before deploying fully.
Astracraft is one of the many sandbox battle-royale games rising to popularity recently, and with its bright colors and customization features it could outshine its competitors. However, once the visibility offered by Apple’s “Game of the Day” feature wears off, Astracraft’s listing is lacking many of the elements that will keep it afloat as a relevant contender. Astracraft should evaluate their strategy and revise their listing to maximize discoverability and conversion on the iOS App Store as well as on the Google Play Store.
Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube, and we’ll help get your strategy started.