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

    • astrouga
    • March 29th, 2013

    Only one complaint — the enemies often get a move and attack. This combined with their ability to move diagonally puts the player in some impossible situations at higher levels. It would be better if the attacker attacked with negative multiplier while moving or if they had they slowed or had could not move and attack. Otherwise this is a fun little game. Thanks!

    • Enemies move and attack by design. They move diagonally so that a player cannot run away indefinitely (without careful planning and/or spells). This is required for balance, the enemy needs to have some advantages otherwise they do not require strategy to defeat. My guess is that these impossible situations you’re referring to can be mitigated with the right strategies (such as using the Immunity spell to avoid the enemies first attack, or using the Invisibility or Teleport spells to get more distance between you and the enemy). The more you play the game, the better you will be at discovering these strategies.

      Thanks for your feedback!

    • Gaalum
    • March 29th, 2013

    I’ve got 1004error of execution, impossible to def propriety class charactère

    • Luca
    • March 29th, 2013

    The Bloodlust spell has no upper limit. It’s easy to get a value of 1.000… and with this vale the game becames very easy. Beside, if any value goes above 32.768 excel crashes with an “Overflow” error. Maybe it could be limited (to something like 50?). Anyway, great game! 🙂

  1. Ok, thank you!

    • Phil
    • March 30th, 2013

    do you think it could work on an excel reader for an android device?

    • As much as I would love this, I don’t know of an excel reader that has a VBA back-end. I would not be opposed to porting this to android but it would require remaking the game.

  2. Excel 2010 – Arena 1.1
    I already killed 4 times in a row Alec Trevelyan (at every death he was exhausted), but he keeps respawning. Do you have to kill him before the Golden Eye countdown reaches 0?

    • Thank you so much for this bug report! I went back and retested and you are correct, the glitch was still there. I’ve now released version 1.1b which should finally make him mortal while exhausted! I’m so sorry about the mix-up on my part!

    • Pavel
    • March 30th, 2013

    Very good.

    • Ezekiel
    • March 30th, 2013

    This is AMAZING!!!!!!! I downloaded it and got instantly addicted. i posted the link from JINX clothing’s facebook page about it to my facebook. I hope you get a ton of traffic cause this is frakking awesome.

  3. You are awesome man! I’m really impressed with the game and with the Excel technics used. Greetings from Brazil! And keep doing this!

    • dd
    • March 31st, 2013

    ranged attack is always a miss

    • Tin
    • March 31st, 2013

    ranged attack is always a miss, it wont work!

    • Zumberbrasil
    • March 31st, 2013

    Baixei o arena.xlsm e fica na tela de apresentação… nao sai daquilo…
    boa tentativa… mais excel.. só jesus…..

    • Paul
    • March 31st, 2013

    This is amazing! It reminds me of when I made a FPS game similar to Stickdeath’s Escape From Greenville in PowerPoint, but this is far more complex and awesome. I love seeing things like this being done in unconventional ways, glad I found this!

    • Mr. Misha
    • March 31st, 2013

    Download an image, please to understand:

    And is there any alternative? OpenOffice?
    Somebody French asked if he can make a video at Youtube. (his question is in download page of official wiki in comments)

    • Arena.Xlsm will only work in Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013. It will not work in other spreadsheet programs.

    • X
    • April 1st, 2013

    Big bug and I can’t play this game. When I open the file a box appears and says that the file cannot be read and that it has to be repared. But when I accept this i only see a file with some “0”. 😦

    • What version of Microsoft Excel are you opening the game with? It will not work on any spreadsheet software other than Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013.

    • Zhuul
    • April 1st, 2013

    great fun man! thank you..

  4. Internet coolness… thanks for creating this gem of a game.

    • Ginny
    • April 2nd, 2013

    Your Excel foo is incredibly impressive and the game is fun! From someone who has a love of both Excel AND RPGs, this is most excellent. If you’d like an English major’s eye on those letters I’d be happy to help! (The first one has some run-ons, for example, and some cleanup on the copy could help clarify the mechanics of aiming.)

    • I’d love to take your edits to update the letters for future versions! Please feel free to e-mail anything you run into while reading over the letters! 🙂

    • Bugzy
    • April 3rd, 2013

    How can I open a chest?

      • Bugzy
      • April 3rd, 2013

      Oh, nvm, I found the way 🙂

    • Matt
    • April 3rd, 2013

    When I download and open with Excel 2007 at work, it works great. If I try downloading and opening with Excel 2010 at home, it says “The file is corrupt and cannot be opened.” and I’m not sure why…

    • Phaleos
    • April 4th, 2013

    I must admit, this is damn well made! Great job man!
    Played it for a few hours and it has been great fun.

    However the spells need some rebalancing in effect / cost.
    Sap energy / energy leech is insta kill on almost all enemy’s combined with the free fire bolt (even most bosses!)
    Bloodlust as already stated is to strong aswell and lets u swim in blood in no time once u get it going, combine them and the game becomes a cakewalk.

    • Thanks Phaleos, I appreciate it balancing is tricky with only one person so this feedback is very valuable to assess what needs to change.

    • Greg
    • April 4th, 2013

    How do i unprotect the page (whats the password)? id like to get this in black and white and possibly edit a few other little things.

    • Worksheet unprotect password is “DEV” note to make sure you reprotect it using the same password before running macros, I’m pretty sure I error checked it so nothing bad should happen if you don’t do that but it’s always better to warn you in advance. Have fun! 🙂

    • Mark Parker
    • April 5th, 2013

    I take my hat off to your Cary, this is a mini masterpiece! Heard about it on a news thread, downloaded it on Wednesday, played it constantly and completed it through, unfortunately not in 1 life though! Kudos to your enemy AI. ¦D

    I’m a fairly experienced Excel/VBA user/developer to I totally appreciate the level of work you’ve put into this, and all in the name of fun too. I’m an enormous fantasy RPG nut so this really appeals to me, so much so I’ve managed to get all the guys in my office playing it on their lunch breaks too!!

    Can’t wait for another perhaps more ambitious installment if the mood so takes you!!

    Thanks for the light relief!!

    • Arknight
    • April 7th, 2013

    This is an awesome game and really fun. Thank you for making it.

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    Trackback from : A Little Fun With Excel
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