ASO Breakdown: A Deep Dive into Apple’s App Store Awards Contenders

Apple’s penchant for indie game developers shone brightly in this year’s App Store Awards, highlighting a diverse array of games that encapsulate creativity, passion, and innovation. Three titles, each distinct in their right, have shown how effective app store optimization (ASO) can lead to success.

Let’s take a closer look at the app store assets of these titles 👇

Afterplace: Crafting an indie gem

Developed by Evan Kice, Afterplace is not just a game but a narrative of indie dedication. Available for $7.99, it’s a journey into a meticulously crafted pixel world.

Visual analysis:

The icon of Afterplace is a perfect embodiment of the game’s indie spirit. The use of pixel art is strategic, managing to be both nostalgic and contemporary. The green background not only sets a vibrant stage for the pink character but also subtly communicates the game’s theme of exploration and adventure.

Screenshots and app-preview video:

The screenshots are an extension of the app preview video, each frame a canvas showcasing the game’s pixel art world and gameplay elements. This continuity between video and screenshots creates a cohesive visual story that invites users to immerse themselves in a pixelated adventure. The choice to not reveal too much in the visuals is intriguing, sparking curiosity and encouraging potential users to delve deeper.


The description of Afterplace in the App Store is concise yet evocative. It paints a picture of an open world brimming with quirky characters and hidden secrets. This brief narrative invites the player to explore and discover, echoing the game’s theme of adventure. The use of fewer characters in the description adds to the game’s allure, leaving much to the imagination and exploration of the player.

Vampire Survivors: A nostalgic rogue adventure

Developed by Poncle, Vampire Survivors has made an impressive mark financially, without leaning on user acquisition strategies. It brings back the charm of 90s gaming in a roguelite survival RPG package.

Visual analysis:

For Vampire Survivors, the visual strategy is rooted in nostalgia. The icon follows a 90s design ethos, resonating with fans of that era. This choice not only taps into the memories of a particular demographic but also stands out in a sea of modern designs.

Screenshots and app-preview video:

The screenshots and app preview video for Vampire Survivors are essential in showcasing the game’s retro style and simple yet engaging gameplay. They highlight the game’s mechanics, featuring the roguelite elements and the game’s unique approach to survival. This clear visual communication helps set player expectations right from the start.


The App Store description for Vampire Survivors is an invitation to a world of retro gaming. It emphasizes the game’s minimalistic yet addictive gameplay, highlighting the survival aspect that forms the core of the experience. This description is not just informative but also a call to action, appealing to players’ sense of nostalgia and adventure.

Honkai Star Rail: A journey through the stars

Honkai Star Rail by MiHoYo Games stands as a colossus in the gaming world, with its impressive revenue and expansive space fantasy RPG setting.

Visual analysis:

The visuals of Honkai Star Rail are a grand display of MiHoYo’s commitment to high-quality art and character design. The icon captures the essence of the game, it’s characters very nicely. Unlike majority of the best practises, MiHoYo also trusts in their brand value by having a prominent logo placement on the bottom of the icon.

Screenshots and app-preview video:

The app’s screenshots are meticulously designed, balancing character art with gameplay. This approach offers a comprehensive view of what players can expect – a blend of stunning visuals and engaging gameplay. The consistency in layout across these visuals strengthens the game’s branding and helps in creating a memorable impression.


The description of Honkai Star Rail in the App Store is a narrative masterpiece, drawing players into a world of interstellar adventure and discovery. It skillfully intertwines elements of exploration, strategic combat, and rich storytelling, promising a journey like no other.

The Apple Store Awards have brought to light these exemplary titles, showcasing the depth and diversity of gaming experiences on the App Store. Afterplace, Vampire Survivors, and Honkai Star Rail each demonstrate how effective ASO can be instrumental in capturing the imagination of players worldwide. Congratulations to these games for their remarkable achievements and for setting new standards in the world of mobile gaming.

What games should be included in our next breakdown? 🤩 Let us know in the chat! 👉

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