So you're broke and can't quite afford a VR headset capable of letting you play Half-Life: Alyx. You've seen the glowing reviews – the GOTY-worthy ratings – and are now staring aggressively at your bank balance in a last-ditch effort to make the numbers jump up via the power of positive thinking or some such magic.
Try as you might, it's not going to work. But you know something that could help? This here list of solid mobile game alternatives to Valve's latest hit. Yes, Half-Life: Alyx is a VR game, I know, so I've gone for titles that echo the essence of the Half-Life series itself.
Half-Life's world is a dystopian nightmare with a strong focus on sci-fi strangeness and physics-based puzzling. That's a fairly wide brief.
Dead Effect 2 is a horror-fuelled FPS set in the far reaches of space. You'll take on a horde of zombies in the tight confines of the ship's corridors while trying to make sense of its not-so-hot story.
Thankfully, the combat fares far better, serving up a crunchy, powerful arsenal of weapons with which to tear apart those fleshy undead. It's certainly one of the better single-player FPS titles we have on mobile, and its icky presentation is still fairly impressive years after launch.
White Day might not be the most obvious game on the list, but I think it's important to note Half-Life's horror elements. Half-Life 2, in particular, boasts one of the most famous horror levels of all time: Ravenholm.
Once a bustling town, it's now home to an army of shambling headcrab zombies that you'll tear apart using various sawblades strewn around the level. It's a violent, intense, and often scary detour that has rightfully gone down as one of the series' most iconic sections.
White Day is a frightfully good survival horror game that definitely gives you less of a fighting chance against its creeping monsters. Despite the iffy voice acting, it offers a decent sense of atmosphere and even the odd scare.
The Silent Age takes you on a time-travelling journey with Joe, a humble janitor, who one day stumbles upon a gateway to the future.
Using his new powers, Joe jumps ahead to 2012 only to learn that the world has been ravaged by some mysterious force. Cue an epic adventure that sees you mastering your new time-travel powers to hopefully save the day. It's a stylish point-and-click mystery that mixes slow-paced drama with huge sci-fi revelations.
Republique is set in a totalitarian state with surveillance cameras on every square inch of the city, capturing all that happens. Using the CCTV network as your eyes, you'll navigate the game's world and stealthily avoid danger.
There's a decent story to follow here, as well as lots of fun worldbuilding collectables to hunt down. It's a solid game that works well on touchscreens and offers an intriguing setting with strong City 17 vibes.
Gemini Rue is part film noir mystery, part cyberpunk thriller. The story here is split between the rain-soaked streets of a dystopian city and a floating prison called Center 7, with both being equally intriguing settings for different reasons.
The point-and-click puzzles are seldom annoying, instead adding to the plot in interesting, logical ways, and there's a thick atmosphere to every area you'll explore on your quest to find your lost brother or escape from prison.
Its worlds are similar to Half-Life in their rich environmental storytelling, and it weaves a compelling series of mysteries that you'll no doubt have fun solving.