A story in fragments
about a house and a century.
18 Cadence is Kirkus selection for the Best Books of 2013: Book Apps.
18 Cadence received an honorable mention for the 2014 IGF Nuovo Award.

Play online

18 Cadence is an experiment in interactive narrative, asking you to build something from pieces of story.

There was a house at 18 Cadence Street. It was built in 1900. It burned to the ground in the year 2000. In between, people lived there: soldiers, mothers, bankers, stoners; people with secrets, with chores, with dreams, with regrets, with too much stuff or not enough, with sleepless nights, with laughter and with each other.

In 18 Cadence, you can explore a century of living and assemble your own story from thousands of narrative fragments. Capture one life or juxtapose people from different eras. Slide, position, and recombine details like magnetic poetry. Decide what's worth telling, and what should be left out. What story will you tell?


How To Explore

18 Cadence is available for free in your web browser.

Click the map of the house to move through its rooms, and the forward and back arrows to move through time. The tabs under the descriptive text let you see events from the perspective of each character involved. Drag any text onto the workbench to manipulate it: click to vary, drag onto other fragments to combine, or use the razor blade to split combined fragments. The Options ribbon in the bottom right lets you view and share stories.

If you enjoy 18 Cadence and would like to support the developer, check out the Estate Sale.


Thanks to the many people who gave me feedback during the development of 18 Cadence, including Duncan Bowsman, Sherol Chen, Kate Compton, Sharon Daniel, Teale Fristoe, Jacob Garbe, Chaim Gingold, Paolo Gomes, Jennifer González, D. Fox Harrell, Chris Lewis, Michael Mateas, John Murray, Ben Samuel, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. The project uses Creative Commons images from Flickr users petercat.harris, Playingwithbrushes, Theresa Thompson, and viscousplatypus. The jQuery, jQueryUI, TouchPunch, and Cordova frameworks were used in the development. The fonts used are IM Fell DW Pica and Simonetta.

18 Cadence was supported in part by the Florence French Financial Aid Fund for Art and first appeared in prototypical form at the 2011 Digital Arts & New Media MFA show at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Visit aaronareed.net for more work by the author.

“What else is it possible to change if not the past? The future is nonexistent, the present come and gone too quickly to establish a mailing address."
Lewis H. Lapham, May 2012, 'Ignorance of Things Past.'





Thrillingly innovative interactive storytelling. It makes me giddy." —Mark Sample

brilliant..." —Andy Baio, waxy.org

“...an intriguing and even absorbing exploration of the power of objects across time." —Kirkus

“...a potentially endless cycle of inspiration and creation... beautifully written and at times haunting." — GameZebo

Lovely, just lovely." — Rod Humble

More reviews and reactions by Emily Short (Galatea, Versu), Porpentine (Howling Dogs), Mark Marino (Living Will), and indiegames.com.

A screenshot of 18 Cadence. A screenshot of 18 Cadence. A screenshot of 18 Cadence. A screenshot of 18 Cadence. A screenshot of 18 Cadence. A screenshot of 18 Cadence.

More interactive stories by Aaron A. Reed

Liked the free version? Purchase a virtual memento at the 18 Cadence Estate Sale.