A teaser for the game shows a captured airman resembling Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was shot down in a dogfight over Pakistan earlier this year.
The trailer starts with a scene showing an aircraft similar to Varthaman's Russian-made MiG-21. Along the aircraft, a fighter pilot donning the iconic “gunslinger” moustache resembling that of Varthaman can be seen.
Launch of #IAF #MobileGame : Android / iOS version of IAF developed Mobile Game (Single Player) will be launched on 31 Jul 19. Download on your Android / iOS mobile phone & cherish the thrilling flying experience. The multiplayer version will soon follow. The Teaser of the game… pic.twitter.com/yhfOrOZxWV— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) 20 July 2019
The new mobile game has triggered banter between Indian and Pakistani social media users.
Indian netizens seemed to be super excited to try out the game, entitled 'Indian Air Force: A cut above'.
Wow 😍😍 Such an amazing video trailer. Goosebumps 😍 Here you go IAF and All air warriors. Proud of you always. Respect from heart 💓💓. Love and light and more and more power 💪👊— Varsha Tyagi (@VarshaT77678095) July 20, 2019
Mig 21 bison and abhinandan 🤙🏽— Puneet kakkar (@Puneetkakkar20) July 20, 2019
But while Indians are applauding the teaser, the Pakistani twitterati doesn’t seem particularly amused.
Many Pakistani users mocked the game with comments of “Tea was nice”- a statement made by Abhinandan while sipping a cup of tea in a video released by the Pakistani authorities after his capture on 27 February.
😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🙌🇵🇰✌✌✌✌ games me he kuch Kar lo real life me to....TEA IS FANTASTIC....SHRRRRRRUPPPPP✌🇵🇰— BlackOps® (@UnderC0ver_1) July 20, 2019
You win by getting shot down, extra points if you collide with a friendly aircraft.— FM (@CryptoShah786) July 20, 2019
Tea was fantastic— MSM (@msm_bana) July 20, 2019
Wing Commander Abhinandan became the toast of India after he was captured by Pakistan on 27 February. His MiG-21 crashed in Pakistani territory after reportedly managing to shoot down a Pakistani F-16 in a fierce dogfight. The pilot was released by Pakistan two days later "as a peace gesture", with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan stating that the gesture would prevent tensions from “getting out of hand”.
The 27 February dogfight followed the 14 February Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir state, for which India blames Pakistan, in which more than 40 Indian soldiers were killed.
The game will initially be launched in a single player version on 31 July. A multiplayer version will be launched at a later date.