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

    • GamesExcel
    • March 27th, 2013

    Cary, this is great. Like, really great. My only (tiny) criticism is that like many other Excel games, it still LOOKS like Excel. I’ve got an Excel game project on the go (a remake of the Legend of Zelda) and I was surprised how graphically good Excel can be! You can see how far I’ve got on YouTube (posted the vid especially for you!).

    Feel free to get in touch if you’d like any of the source code – more than happy to share 🙂

    Cheers anyway, keep up the great work, and good luck with the MBA.

    • Wow nice! I am very impressed by your work!

      Best of luck completing that! 🙂

    • LostWizard
    • March 27th, 2013

    класс, настоящая игра для офисных задротов, спасибо !))

    • Tobias
    • March 27th, 2013

    Having fun, even though I was killed by an angry monkey’s ranged attack before I realized I was even taking damage. I lost a fantastic pistol of draining that was really helping me kick butt. It’s hard to play after losing such a helpful item, but hopefully I’ll find something like that again.

    Best part is that my wife came in to talk to me and I minimized the window I could see her eyes scanning my taskbar for a game (usually she gripes if she sees Minecraft running) but in this case she just saw work applications. Nice.

    • Level Nine Accountant
    • March 27th, 2013

    Looks very cool, but even the best games benefit from mini-games. How about adding in a side quest where you use an in-game computer with a spreadsheet program to make quarterly earnings projections, or balance a home budget?

    • This is the best idea ever heard. 🙂

    • You , sir, are an animal. That would be such an awesome side-game! I almost feel like I’ve played something like that before but I don’t remember. Maybe it was on my PONG set…? Anyways, great idea!

    • ddd
    • March 27th, 2013

    > My only (tiny) criticism is that like many other Excel games, it still LOOKS like Excel.

    Wait a second… isn’t that the point? That the game looks like Excel? If it didn’t look like Excel, then obviously the novelty of playing an elaborate RPG in Excel wouldn’t be there. I mean, if you didn’t want your game to look like excel, shouldn’t you, like, NOT make your game in Excel in the first place? There are plenty of other platforms that are much more game development oriented/friendly than Excel.

    I think that this game is very awesome, by the way.

    • Вованах
    • March 27th, 2013

    бле , не открывается , у меня office 2003

    • Giang
    • March 27th, 2013

    I’m stuck on the first level, every time i defeat the enemy there’s an error pop up saying

    runtime error: 1004

    unable to set the text property of the characters class

    I’m using microsoft excel 2007

    • Mike
    • March 27th, 2013

    Круто, возвращаемся к корням текстовых RPG! 🙂

    • Shariq
    • March 27th, 2013

    Great work Cary!

    • Shteryan Nikolaev
    • March 27th, 2013

    Suggest you to change skills if they are like in Diablo, Blizzard may sue you

    • Vasya
    • March 27th, 2013

    Run-time error 1004

  1. 神人阿!

    • Ian
    • March 27th, 2013
      • Ian
      • March 27th, 2013

      this is an article on, germany´s biggest online news website. great game sir!

    • Lina
    • March 27th, 2013

    that was a bit too advanced for me, couldn’t figure out what exactly I have to do there. I moved along the field with arrow keys, clicked on sword, but it was the same: a field with some cells filled with XX combination.

    I guess some prior knowledge what to do with this sort of games is required.

  2. I’m bummed out its not supported for Mac Excel, any chance it would work with OpenOffice on a Mac? I tried but I couldn’t figure out how to force run macros and I can only google so much on my work computer before I start sending up red flags in the IT department – lol

    • Haha I too am bummed about that. I have a Mac at home so I’d love to be able to get it to run. Unfortunately that does not appear to be an option due to limitations in Microsoft Excel For Mac.

        • John
        • March 27th, 2013

        The limitations are mainly down to Mac OS.. There’s a heap of functionality in Windows that Excel uses, hence why the Mac versions are so limited.

        I’ve been asked to port stuff to Mac Excel / Powerpoint and keep the user experience the same. It’s not possible. Excel 2008 doesn’t even support VBA, although it came back in 2011.

    • alexjj
    • March 27th, 2013

    Upon starting a new game in Excel 2007 I get a run time error ‘438’.

    • Dan
    • March 27th, 2013

    You are my new excel hero! Thank you. Inspiration, check!

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