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Fruit Ninja meets the Communist Party: game on in battle for patriotic hearts and minds

With secret weapons, enemies around the corner and the chance to ascend the ranks of elite players, it looks on the surface like a regular web diversion in the spirit of the hit Fruit Ninja.

But its name gives the online game away.

According to Qiushi, a Communist Party journal on political theory, the game is called: “Tightening the party’s grip comprehensively – how an iron soldier is tempered.”

Partly inspired by the Central Committee’s sixth plenum last month, it’s the party’s latest weapon in its battle to win young hearts and minds on the mainland.

News portal Sohu.cn ­quoted a Qiushi employee as saying that the game was developed by a group of university students.

Qiushi promoted the game after examining its content, according to the report.

Cartoon Xi Jinping returns in new animated adventures

It was designed to “let the young patriots express their ­passion for the party and the country”, the report said.

Armed with “iron armour”, “fend-off evil swords”, “intelligence helmets”, “uncorrupted cloaks” , “clang iron fists” as well as “firm war boots”, players battle four aliens.

Each of the aliens represented one of “four dangers”, or internal challenges facing the party back in 2011 – “lost vitality”, “insufficient capacity”, “alienation from the people” and “rampant corruption”, the report said.

Players swipe their smartphone screens to repel “attacks” from the enemies, and – all going well – they can “become a qualified party member after numerous challenges”.

It is not the first time the party has tried to win over young people with new media.

Corruption gets a cartoon rap: Chinese propaganda spins lyrics on Xi Jinping’s reforms

The Weibo account of the party-controlled Communist Youth League, which has more than four million followers, uses videos and animation to tout ­national developments.

A mystery mainland video-maker also put a comic spin on the national anti-graft drive over the Lunar New Year last year , ­releasing three propaganda cartoons of an animated President Xi Jinping fighting corruption. The cartoons were shared by the websites of Qiushi and ­People’s Daily.