Driving thriller Beware hides some surreal storytelling

Solo developer Ondrej Svadlena sheds light on his dark narrative.


If you’ve heard about Beware, then you probably know it’s a horror game about driving that surprisingly doesn’t feature any rush hour traffic. In fact, solo developer Ondrej Svadlena recently told The Indie Game Website that Beware was never even intended to be a horror game at all, but rather a thriller.

But apart from clarifying that his game wasn’t intended to be a horror experience, Svadlena also told The Indie Game Website about some unexpected storytelling that Beware hides beneath its chilling, paranoid surface rooted in his experiences as a child in Czechoslovakia. And this comes as no surprise, considering that Svadlena is originally a filmmaker and director, highly praised for his animated shorts and stories.

“One of the big themes of the game is about all the people, teams, companies and governments that are invested into creating something that is going to be more intelligent than human beings, and the repercussions that could have,” explained Svadlena.

But, the fact that what we’ve seen so far about Beware doesn’t exactly reflect its narrative was kind of the plan. “For me, it was important to, first of all, test the gameplay aspects, the atmosphere, see how that works,” says Svadlena. We can already say that he’s nailed those, seeing the amount of views Beware’s gameplay videos have generated. Even the world’s biggest YouTuber, PewDiePie, has played the game, providing it with an enormous amount of awareness.

Svadlena gave us some more details about the storytelling behind Beware that hasn’t been seen yet.

“What the demo doesn’t really showcase, as it’s just the beginning of the game, is that the world universe is going to get more and more surreal or crazy because, basically, you’ll be driving from this rural holiday place towards the big city so you’ll have all the transitions,” says Svadlena. “I think it’s going to be more visible if you look at my films as they’ve gone down that surreal way with very strong imagery. Imagine when you have a dream, which feels very real but then you look at something and it changes suddenly or subtly. The whole thing becomes like a nightmare, so that’s the visual sensory experience I’m aiming for.”

If you’d like to test Beware’s latest demo, you can download it for free here. Furthermore, if you’d like to contribute to this game’s development, Ondrej is still looking for backers through his Patreon account.