Cart Life by Richard Hofmeier is a “retail simulation for Windows” where you play as one of three down-and-out food cart vendors, each trying to make their way in the world and create a thriving business while dealing with personal problems. Gameplay involves tasks such as selling coffees, making bagels, and taking the bus. Deliberately immersing you in the mundanity of these characters’ daily lives and the difficulty of their personal concerns (one is recently divorced and fighting for custody of her daughter), this game is not your typical special-effects laden blockbuster. But something interesting happens as you complete the same game tasks over and over: you develop an empathetic bond with your character and become invested in their personal narrative. You want them to overcome the monotony and hardship of their in-game circumstances to reach their goal, and every small step forward or back becomes cause for great celebration or despair. Through asking you to experience first-hand the life of someone else, Cart Life elicits unusually deep investment in its characters’ stories.