Arena.Xlsm Released!

You can now play the full version of Arena.Xlsm!

Official Mirror: Arena.Xlsm hosted on

Download version 1.3 directly here: Arena.Xlsm

Key Features

  • Random enemies: Over 2000 possible enemies with different AI abilities.
  • Random items: 39 item modifiers result in over 1000 possible item combinations and attributes.
  • An interesting story with 4 different endings depending on how the player has played the game.
  • 8 boss encounters, each with their own tactics.
  • 12 pre-programmed arenas followed by procedurally generated maps. Each play-through has its own challenges.
  • 31 Spells. There are many different strategies for success.
  • 20 Unique items. Unique items have special properties and can only drop from specific enemies.
  • 100 Achievements.
  • This is all in a Microsoft Excel workbook.

You can also access the official Arena.Xlsm wiki here:

The Arena.Xlsm photo gallery is here:

What are the system requirements for this game?
Arena.Xlsm has been tested to work on PC versions of Microsoft Excel including Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2013. Arena.Xlsm will not work on Mac versions of Microsoft Excel.

When I open the file I can see the screen but nothing happens when I click on buttons.
Arena.Xlsm uses Excel macros to execute the programming for the game. In order to play the game you must enable macros. For detailed instructions see the wiki:

Where can I find additional information on the game including strategies?
Please consult the official Arena.Xlsm wiki at

How can I create a permanent save file so that when I die I go back to that save file rather than dealing with the consequences of death or so that I can transfer a save file from system to system?
It is important to keep in mind that Arena.Xlsm is at its core, an Excel spreadsheet. To make a permanent save file, simply make a copy of the Arena.Xlsm workbook and rename it. Such as “Arena (Level 4 Combatant).Xlsm” Now if you ever die or want to transfer the file, simply open the copy you created to load your saved game.

RPG… does this game have a lot of level grinding?
The leveling system acts primarily as a gatekeeper to gradually introduce new story, enemy types, spells, etc. The amount of kills needed per level should be approximately 3-6 kills regardless of level. Level grind can ruin the pacing of a game so I’ve done my best to keep it to a minimum.

When I try to send version 1.3 over GMail it says that it detected a virus. What gives?
There appears to be a problem with GMail’s virus detection system resulting in a false positive. While I am discussing the issue with Google, I have created an alternate edition of Arena.Xlsm v1.3 which will work with GMail.  The GMail Edition is encrypted and requires the password “arena” to open. You can download the GMail Edition here: Arena.Xlsm GMail Edition.

I have a bug report or feedback, how do I get a hold of you?
I can be reached by:

E-mail: cary (at)
Twitter: @CaryWalkin

    • kurzon
    • March 25th, 2013

    Reblogged this on Browsing Like Bond and commented:
    Biz hala Excel’de toplama nasıl yapılıyordu soraduralım, Toronto’da muhasebe master’ı yapan Cary Walkin Excel ile oynanan bir RPG geliştirdi. 2000 çeşit yaratık, 4 farklı sonu olan bir senaryo, 8 boss savaşı, 36 achievement içeren Arena.Xlsm’i ücretsiz olarak indirebilir ve Excel’de oynayabilirsiniz.

    • cpy
    • March 25th, 2013

    Does not work in Libre Office 4.0.1.

    • That is correct. It is only designed to work in Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013.

        • Ry
        • March 26th, 2013

        It’s so frustrating when a game doesn’t work in a certain environment, but in this case I’m more than happy that the game works, let alone is cross (program) platform compatible.

      • To bad it wont work for me. I guess its a small task to debug it for cross plattform compatibility. I would appriciate if you try.

        • Gnabergasher
        • March 27th, 2013

        It’s so frustrating when people get annoyed at devs who put out their work for certain platforms and not EVERYTHING. They should be working for free and do EVERYTHING we want since we are their bosses and they deserve nothing more than to slave for us who get everything for FREE.

      • Thanks for that 🙂

        I actually do understand the frustration being expressed. I know how it feels to get locked out of an experience. It’s a very similar feeling to being excluded from sports teams: everyone else is having fun so why can’t I?

        I empathize. So to all of you who are left out because you can only run Excel for Mac, or OpenOffice, or LibreOffice, or Google Docs, I’m sorry for excluding you. At the end of the day, there is only so much I can do.

        I hope that people who are unable to run it on their home or office computers can still check out the game at their local library or internet cafe which will usually have a compatible version of Microsoft Excel.

    • Yup, it’s crippled by design…

  1. Microsoft Office 2003 The Best!

    • Сергей Белясников
    • March 26th, 2013

    Невероятно! =))
    You are god of Excel!

    • Petachek
    • March 26th, 2013

    Pikabu!!! RU

    • Tim
    • March 26th, 2013

    Really good work!

  2. I keep getting a run time error in Excel 2007 after I defeat the first enemy

    • James
    • March 26th, 2013

    You sir are a genius!

    • Toss
    • March 26th, 2013

    Version 1.0, Excel 2007:
    I get run-time every time I kill the very first enemy

    • nick
    • March 26th, 2013

    inspiring and fantastic thanks!

    • James.
    • March 26th, 2013

    You sir, have absorbed 4 hours of my life that I will never get back and for that I am very grateful!!! 🙂
    First time I’ve ever been glad to open an excel spreadsheet.

    One small bug report to make :
    After dying and restarting the game, your new character gets the effects from the previous characters last weapons until the first time they get an item.
    I’m not sure if its all effects, but definitely if you die with a draining weapon equiped the next character drains until the first time the equipment popup comes up.

    • Thanks. Also that was an awesome bug report. I was able to track down and fix the issue within minutes. It’ll be in this weekend’s patch.
      Thanks! 😀

  3. This is great! Really impressed. Well done.

    • drolj
    • March 26th, 2013

    Featured on JHACK –

  4. Wow this is awesome! didnt think that something like this could be made with excel

    • smotrs
    • March 26th, 2013

    Well done, pretty darn cool. Look forward to the runtime error fix this weekend.

    • Andy
    • March 26th, 2013

    Can you convert it to 2000?

    • I don’t think I can do that, unfortunately versions of microsoft excel prior to 2007 are missing critical functionality that the game needs to run.

  5. It’s really cool) Great job !
    I am glad that there are people like you, who could make something interesting with usual things

  6. Good work. It’s also on the BBC:

    • GDavis
    • March 26th, 2013

    What is the chance of getting the admin password so I can show my son the code behind this cool piece of work?

    • When things calm down a bit, send me an e-mail. I’ll send you code snippets that will be easily digestable and easy to learn from. I’m saying this because some of the code is not of a good enough quality that would result in someone learning bad coding habits. Also good on you encouraging your son to code! Parent of the year here! 🙂

        • Giovanni
        • March 27th, 2013

        I too would love to see the snippets on how you do things. Trying to build myself a random version of Risk in excel, so ‘googling’ at lot for help with code as I’m pretty new to VB.

        Thanks in advance, look forward to playing this

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