Cart Life is described by his author as a retail simulator, but it is much more than that. It is essentially a life simulator of three different playable characters, all of them street vendors. But this is not The Sims, life for some of modern cities inhabitants can be very complicated, can be all about survival.
Richard Hofmeier, the creator of the game, uses sad, monotonous graphics on a grey scale to denounce how difficult is the life of poor people trying to be entrepreneurs. He made Cart Life on his spare time, without a college degree or much programming knowledge, while working on a bunch of bad jobs to pay his bills. So he knows about the kind of life he is simulating on his game.
On this recession times, it is surprising we don’t get more games criticizing our problems: it is a shame than game creators are missing a fantastic opportunity to speak their minds. If we want games to be art, we need them to be a medium for artists to express themselves.
Cart Life was very well received by some game journalists and won the Indie Games Festival 2013.
You can download it for free from the author’s website or purchase a copy which includes an extra playable character. But be warned this is a hard game: you may not be the man for the job.