You can imagine a planet that started with an alikaline, rather than acidic environment, specifically alikaline by the mineral kind, not the ammonia kind. Amines and imines are not very stable when treated with a base, and certain that quaternary amines, or the choline that makes up earth like cell membranes will not be able to be synthesized, let alone to form naturally within such environments. What you get then is a planet that was stuck in a RNA world, which that sugars are more available than fats or hydrocarbons.
Whatever life you get will be assembled RNA or proteins that forms rigid, atomically perfect structures that resembles more like viruses than cells, crystals instead of flesh. DNA origami is a useful approach for nanotechnology today, and I certainly don’t see that if living organisms can not be designed out of it. Protein binds nuclei acids, therefore you get all the different effector tools, ribosomes are made of rna that binds protein or dna readily.
Build a scaffold of intertwined RNA or proteins(RNA resembles DNA a lot) that forms repeating, or crystalline structures, then you get a nanofactory. That can potentially make copies of itself. DNA can make DNA, RNA can make RNA and RNA can make proteins, therefore the minimal requirement for life is really just to keep the central dogma going.
We then throw in some form of nanoassembling, which is very common in all living organisms(flagellar motor in microbes, or nuclear pore assembly), then we just get a multi-particular viral "organism" that work just as well as the cells on earth, is not better. After all, all known function of cell membrane transport are based on proteins, with the few exception that is the diffusion of a few gasses, or unwanted toxins.
Therefore, we can’t rule out a substitution made with proteins that specialize(on such jobs). Evolution of such life, if it is evolved at all, would likely happen within geodes or fissures, where concentration difference drives the crystallization process, forming the first crystalline "particles" which would become the building block of all other, higher form of life.
Interestingly, such RNA based lifeforms have a much higher chance of evolving larger individually, rather than forming an analog or what we called "multicellular organisms". Clockwork based high order computations, or "minds" are more likely to be present as opposed to the electrochemical processes that makes up animal brains. (you can avoid pesky errors when your manufacturing is atomically perfect, therefore having no place for an error at all).
Expect to see a lot of "tick tok" creatures around on such planets. Also, ribozymes are not prized for it’s ability to make energy, so expect to see thermodynamics as a prevailing work around, complete with all naturally evolved steam engines(as a replacement for photosynthesis) and a lot of giant analogs of enzymes or other biomolecules. (Anyone want a mechanical dinosaur that runs on steam, or a fully living, sentient robot made of plastic?) you can make this a steampunk/clockpunk or macromolecular world or location for your potential protagonists, even complete with things like a molecular sword or purely mechanical mounts to be discovered.