Anyone longing to live the life of city street vendor should definitely give Richard Hofmeier’s Cart Life a spin. Cart Life is a retro-styled simulator of that very scenario. The title puts you in the skin of one of three down-on-their luck characters hoping to turn around their life by peddling wares to the denizens of a small city in the western region of the United States. Players will experience the ups and (mostly) downs of each character’s life from having to pick up your daughter from school, to losing your pet cat in lonely city full of strangers. Gameplay resembles a meshing of point and click adventure with some “typing games”esque segments used to stock shelves and ring up customers.
Much like real people, each of Cart Life’s playable characters has a vice, one which you must manage in order for them to operate properly; in addition to these vices, players are also tasked with managing the hunger and stamina for their chosen character, presenting a very Sim-like experience at times. On the graphic’s front, Cart Life keeps things around the 16bit era for the most part, sticking to a palette consisting of deep blacks and sulky greys. All of which go a long way in conveying the overarching mood of depression and struggle that seem to plague the drab city. Notably enough, Cart Life has been nominated to receive an award at this year’s Indiecade festival, which should be reason enough to check out the quirky little title.
Those interested can pick up their vendor’s license for free over on developer’s homepage, with some nifty payed versions available as well (all of which include some pretty sweet goodies). Check back on IGM later for a review to see just how hard it is to make a buck in America.