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

  1. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll
    check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  2. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    • wiglet
    • April 10th, 2013

    I’m also an accountant (tax reporting) and an avid gamer. A friend of mine sent me the link to the article in venture beat that featured your game and it made me laugh. Which is a rare thing at this time of the year. So thanks. 🙂 I’ll try out your game after…well after everything. Cheers!

  3. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of
    plagorism or copyright violation? My website has
    a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Yes it’s a problem but no I don’t really have any tips for you. The internet is a wild-west of sorts, people are going to do things outside of your control.

  4. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you
    could do with some pics to drive the message home a
    bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog. An excellent read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

  5. Wow. Incredible script! 😀

  6. How come it doesn’t work on Mac versions of Excel? Excel was originally a Mac only software package.

    • Excel 2008: Sorry, this version of excel is not compatible with Arena.Xlsm because it cannot run VBA macros.
      Excel 2011: Sorry, this version of excel is not compatible with Arena.Xlsm because it does not support ActiveX controls.

      • Microsoft helpfully removed VBA support from the 2008 version of Excel for Mac, it was in the 2004 version and presumably even older version as Excel is about 20 years old. If it was anything other than ActiveX I’d over to help fix it, but ActiveX is another Microsoft only technology whose use pretty much ensures your code only runs on Microsoft’s operating system.

  7. Reblogged this on AB's Reflections and commented:
    Now, that’s a really powerful Excel macro

  8. is clippy one of the boss fights?

    • This is one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard and will try to squeeze this into the v1.2 timeline! Thanks! 😀

    • Pub
    • April 17th, 2013

    Amazing. Love it.

  9. It’s going to be end of mine day, however before ending I am reading this enormous piece of writing to improve my experience.

  10. I am not a big fan of games and I casually thought of playing this one too. To my surprise this was the most beautiful and addictive game that I have ever played in Excel.
    The game play and the story line both are awesome.
    Hats off to you for your programming skills 🙂
    Thumbs Up 🙂

    • Josette
    • May 7th, 2013

    The last version is a true gem ! The last fight improvements are very nice.
    Thank you for developing such a good game.xlsm 😉

    • rudi
    • May 15th, 2013

    I love you man…:)

    • Aron
    • August 12th, 2013

    Congrats for the idea and the hard work you put in it! As a big Diablo II fan, appreciate the ideas you took from there. Cheers from Hungary 😉

    • October 12th, 2013

    Hi, nice to meet you.
    I have a probleme, the ranged attack doesn’t work.
    How use it?
    Maxime M

    • Hi Maxime,

      The black selection box is your target and indicates where your ranged attack is aimed. To hit the enemy make sure your selection box has targeted the enemy before firing a ranged attack.

      More details are available on the wiki here:

      Cary Walkin

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