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Cart Life

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Cart Life is an adroit little simulation of running a cart.  It's not your grandpa's lemonade stand simulator, though.  Although it has hallmarks of the genre like being able to set your prices, seeing how much money you made at the end of the day, and the ability to buy more and better things to sell, it's not really the point of the game.

The game is an art piece.  The first thing that stands about it is the visuals, which are done in black and white pixelated style.  However, this isn't just a few sprites moving about on a flat background, this is rich atmospheric visual design, set in a city that is by turns yuppie and industrial, run-down and bustling.  You spend a significant portion of the game walking, just taking in the atmosphere.  When your character talks or dreams, rich visual overlays are used to reflect their internal voice.  These touches really set the game apart. 

The gameplay is, by design, boring repetitive drudgery.  It folds in with the point of the game, which is that making a living and starting a business is hard, and it's boring, and much of the time it's not fun.  The game is unforgiving, as well.  Forget to pick up your daughter from school, or pay your weekly hotel bill, and your game will take a turn for the worst.  Manage to take care of all of these things successfully?  Congratulations, you get to do them all again next week.

I'd definitely suggest giving this a download and a play.  The game is Windows only, but it's free for the basic version.  The deluxe version, which offers an additional character, is available if you want to support the designer.

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