Jingle Cats
Image: Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), Inc. Developers Vantan International Co., Ltd

You've probably never heard of Ai to Yūjou no Neko Monogatari: Jingle Cats - Love Para Daisakusen no Maki – we certainly hadn't until this week.

Released on Sony's console, Mac and Windows PC in 1998, this Japanese exclusive is based on novelty albums of the same name produced by Mike SpallaJingle Dogs and Jingle Babies are part of the same series.

According to the always-reliable MobyGames, the game is a life simulation where the player "chooses a few cats to put in a room together and try to build their relationship with each other."

The player has no direct control over the assembled moggies; instead, you have to use various items in the room to influence what the cats do next. You can also pick up the cats, move items around and give them toys. Should your actions be successful, then two of the cats will form a bond, allowing you to progress.

It's all very adorable, but the really amazing thing about Jingle Cats is the fact that, in-between stages, they sing pop songs.

Classics such as Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water, Madonna's Like A Virgin and Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild are all covered here, with the vocals replaced by cats meowing. You can listen to them below.

This might already sound like Game of the Year 1998 material, but what makes this even more enticing is the fact that famed translation group Hilltop Works was once working on an English translation for the game – and it's our sincere hope that the team will return to this project in the near future, as we really need to play it properly.

[source twitter.com]