Cart Life bills itself as a "retail simulation," and a priori, you may expect it to be a conventional sim/tycoon style game in which you buy merchandise, set prices, and consider your profit your score -- a conventional, if somewhat dull kind of game. It is nothing like that at all.
Actually, it is an interactive narrative with a crafting minigame, brutal time pressure despite its essentially slow pace, and curiously emotionally compelling. In addition, it has richer and more artistic subtext that any bombastic, big-budget commercial release.
You play either as Melanie, a recently divorced woman starting a coffee cart business, whose chances of gaining custody of her daughter depend on her business success; or as Andrus, a somewhat lonely Ukrainian immigrant running a newsstand, who must make enough each week to make the rent on his SRO hotel room, or be rendered homeless. This ups the emotional ante, of course. A third character, Vinny, a bagel vendor, can be unlocked for a $5 payment to the developer.