The Indian Air Force (IAF) launched a 3D combat video game, called Guardians of the Skies, last week, developed by Delhi-based start-up Threye, which works in the field of augmented reality. The player dons the role of an IAF fighter pilot in this game, and is entrusted with the job of saving India from the attacks emanating from the fictitious country Zaruzia, which has recently witnessed a military coup.

At present the player can either choose to fly a fighter jet or a combat helicopter. The game includes one training mission and two combat missions. A further eight missions are in the pipeline and the tentative launch date is October 8. Only Android users will be able to sample the game at present. The Windows Phone version is slated to release on July 8, and the iOS version is apparently set to release later this month.

Some points:

– Similar to Threye’s Operation Morning Glory: In March, this year, Threye had released a game called Operation Morning Glory, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Guardians of the Skies. The version 2.0 of the game is out already, which added motion-based controls in the game, and has received over 100,000 downloads till date.

– Issues while installing: The game size is just 44 MB, which led me to believe that it would be a breezy download. I was mistaken. I had to reboot twice before I was able to enter the game.
– Sluggish game: The game itself isn’t as “awesome” as some of the reviews on Google Play seemed to suggest. The controls aren’t responsive enough and the UI was sluggish. The glitches I faced were reported by some of the other reviewers as well.

One of the reviewers made a valid point – “Why would a game about the Indian Air Force need access to my location? I don’t see any reason for that unless the location information is being used for advertising.” However, most of the five-star reviews seem to laud the game because of the IAF connection, and not because of the quality of the game.

IAF had issued a tender in July 2013, seeking bids from mobile game developers for this game. Interestingly, the founding team of Threye comprises a retired fighter pilot, who was part of the Kargil campaign. Sameer Joshi is an ex-NDA and ex-IAF fighter pilot with multi-aircraft and multi-national flying experience. He is the Creative Director at Threye.