CodyCross App Store Spotlight

October 15th, 2019

CodyCross App Store Spotlight
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

CodyCross is a crosswords app with scenic backgrounds and an alien mascot character. For a subscription fee, users can get weekly puzzles of varying difficulties and themes. Can CodyCross solve the puzzle that is App Store Optimization, or does it get lost in the search results like a well-hidden word in a puzzle? For this week’s App Store Spotlight, we take a look at CodyCross.


On the Apple App Store, CodyCross ranks #2 in the Trivia category. The app ranks #1 for “crossword game,” “crossword games free” and “new word games.” It’s also in the top 10 for “crossword,” “popular word games,” “word trivia” and “word cross.” Its rankings get a bit lower for terms like “word games” (#20), “daily word” (#21) and “word search” (#29).

Creatives: CodyCross has updated its creative set for Halloween, capitalizing on seasonality. The preview video includes questions like “what keeps a vampire away” and the icon features a jack-o-lantern, helping tie the app into the holiday.

The app has a second video, one not focused on the season, which focuses on features like the number of puzzles, difficulty modes and new content. It does not show the word puzzle part of the game, although the first video demonstrates that.

The following screenshots show different aspects of the app, starting with the puzzles and focusing on additional features. Each one uses a shade of blue that stands out in light mode and dark mode alike. At the top of each screenshot is the callout text, which uses bold fonts on a light background to stand out. The callout text is also connected from image to image with a flowing white line, which adds a sense of continuity to each screenshot.

CodyCross has five screenshots, so it has room for five more. These could include more seasonal-focused imagery to accompany the updated icon and video, or screenshots that delve into some of the app’s other features. Utilizing all the screenshots allowed can help the app provide the most information to help convert users.

Title & Subtitle: The app’s full name is “CodyCross: Crossword Puzzles.” This is 28 characters, so it makes good use of the title space. Adding “Crossword Puzzles” to the name tells users the purpose of the app while helping it index for crossword-related keywords.

The subtitle, “A New Crossword Experience!” is 27 characters. While this makes full use of the space, it also repeats “crossword” from the title. This is redundant for keyword indexation, as the term only needs to be used in the title, subtitle or keyword bank once to begin indexing for it. “Experience” does not build many relevant or high volume phrases either, so it could be replaced with another keyword.

Description: The description for CodyCross begins with a list of value propositions, such as “a new crossword experience” and “have fun while you learn.” It does not, however, rank for any “learning” keywords, so it could potentially target those.

The description then goes into an introduction for the app, describing the character and “story” behind the game. While the introduction is short, the first line could still be broken into smaller lines for ease of reading on a mobile device.

Following the introduction, it has a single bulleted list of the app’s features. This could be expanded further into feature lists, each one focusing on a different aspect of the app. There are also several features it does not include, such as competing with friends. By expanding on the feature list, CodyCross can provide more information about why users should download it, which may increase conversions.

Google Play

CodyCross is the #4 app in the “Word” category on Google Play. It ranks #1 for its name, then in the top 5 for crossword terms like “crossword games” and “crossword puzzle.” Outside of those terms, its rankings begin to fall. The app ranks #20 for “word puzzle” and #21 for “word game,” as well as #30 for “daily crossword” and #36 for “best word games.”

Creatives: CodyCross uses similar creatives on iOS and Google Play, although each one is slightly altered for the store it’s on. While the Google Play video shows the same questions and features as the first iOS video, the video is also oriented for landscape view instead of portrait mode and shows the app as it looks on Android devices.

Likewise, the screenshots are all designed the same and show the same in-app imagery with the same callout text, but the screens they’re on mimic the size and appearance of Android phones.

The icon retains its Halloween seasonality, as does the first video. Like with iOS, it has room for a few more screenshots, which could be used for further seasonality or to look at more features.

Description & Metadata: CodyCross’s Google Play description is very similar to its iOS description, but there are some key differences. There are more bullets in the opening list, including calling out its accolades and reiterating several points, presumably for keyword optimization.

The introduction is the same as on iOS, while the bullet list of features is slightly lengthier. This could still be broken into several feature lists, which would help it target more keywords while being easy to read.

The description also does not include spacing between the paragraphs and sections. As such, it looks like one lengthy list when viewed on the Play Store.

While expanding the introduction for keyword indexation is a good idea, CodyCross does not use the keywords close enough to the front of each line to index for many of them. For instance, its rankings for “brain game” terms are low, with terms like “word brain games” coming in at #146. The description does bring up brain games, but further down in the lines with phrases like “Excel at brain games” or “test your language skills through these brain games.”

If it were to write its description with keywords placed first and foremost in each line, it could potentially improve its indexation and rankings for these terms.


CodyCross ranks well in its categories on the App Store and Play Store, as well as for several crossword keywords, but there is clearly room to grow. It could achieve this growth by refocusing its App Store Optimization to improve keyword targeting, adding more screenshots and expanding on its descriptions.

The Halloween-themed icon and video are good examples of seasonal updates. These can help it convert users looking for Halloween-themed games, as well as potentially place it in lists of games with Halloween events.

CodyCross is an example of an app that has solid placement in the App Store and Play Store, but could grow further with a solid ASO strategy. App Store Optimization can provide the final push it needs to have the first word in app store searches.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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