The Indian Air Force (IAF) has introduced an exciting and novel way for youth to get interested in the forces. They have launched a game ‘Indian Air Force: A Cut Above’, featuring a pilot character resembling Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The game has various themes, centering on aerial combats and missions of the IAF, including airstrikes. It was launched by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on July 31, seeking to give the youth a “realistic feel of the Air Force”.
According to a senior IAF officer, the game will let the users know more about the IAF, and motivate them to take it up as a challenging and exhilarating career option. It aims to engage the audience above the age of 14, as youth in the age contemplate various career paths.
Dhanoa launched the 3D mobile video game, at the National Bal Bhawan, after the inauguration of a facilitation-cum-publicity pavilion of the IAF, on the campus by Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.
#MobileGame : Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee & the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa launched IAF’s latest 3D Mobile gaming application ‘Indian Air Force: A Cut Above’ on Air Combat at National Bal Bhawan, New Delhi, today.@SpokespersonMoD @PIB_India pic.twitter.com/9JlsGFxybv
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) July 31, 2019
At the launch, Dhanoa told a large gathering of students, “This new facilitation-cum-publicity pavilion and the IAF-themed mobile game have been designed to raise awareness among the youth like you, about the IAF, and inspire them to take up career in the Air Force.”
The game is available on IOS and Android platforms and has elements of augmented reality. A teaser of the game was also played during the launch event, which has subtle messages with taglines like — ‘I am an air warrior’, ‘I put the honour and security of my motherland, first’, ‘I fly deep into enemy territory’, ‘And strike fear in the heart of enemy’ and ‘accomplish the mission’.
Abhinandan Varthaman, the man behind the gunslinger moustache with mutton chop beard avatar, had been captured by Pakistan a day after India had conducted Balakot air strikes in Pakistani territory on the JeM terror camps. His MiG-21 was shot down but not before he had shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet. Due to immense diplomatic pressure, Pakistan had released him after keeping him captive for 60 hours.
A senior IAF official said the game has a total of 10 missions and each of them has further three sub-missions. “The various missions, include, airstrikes, air-to-air refuelling, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Also, career navigator, and augmented reality sections are available, which will give a realistic feel of the IAF’s assets to the user,” he further elaborated.
The mobile game would highlight various missions and air combat scenarios undertaken by the IAF in an appealing manner, so as to help immerse the player in a game with a “having been there” sensation, the IAF said.
The officials stated that the first phase of the game (single player campaign) was launched on Wednesday and the second phase (multi-player campaign) will be launched during Air Force Day celebrations in October.
This isn’t the first such initiative of the IAF. They had earlier launched the game Guardians of the Skies in 2014 that had got more than a million downloads.