Download Arena.Xlsm

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. the game is incredible 😀 congratulations!!! i had more fun with this than in skyrim, good old days where story and rol where more important than picking thousand useles items and killing in masses of …

  2. Wow como me he podido divertir con este juego, muchas gracias.

    • james
    • March 28th, 2013

    What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger!

    this game is awesome!

    • Pedro Augusto
    • March 28th, 2013


  3. Can I make youtube videos about this game?

    • For sure! I’d appreciate a link in the description so that your viewers can download the game from here. Also, e-mail me when they are posted and I’ll comment in the youtube comments if there are any questions.

  4. Parabéns,muito bom.

    • Stephan
    • March 31st, 2013

    Your in BBC News (Technology)!!!!

    Congrats! Playing it now.

  5. Macros enabled but not working. Any ideas? I just kicks an error right at opening file, VBA error.

    • What version of Excel are you using? The game is designed to work on Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013.

  6. I’m on Excel 2010

  7. Another writer from DigitallyDownloaded here, love the game. Also great to see another fellow Canadian.

    One question, my ranged attacks never seem to hit. What gives?

    • Pogo
    • April 10th, 2013

    I’m a hardcore FPS gamer (Counter-strike, Halo). Even the adventure/RPG games I like are FPRPGs like Fallout and Deus Ex, but I must say, I’m enjoying this. Great job!

    • Brian
    • April 11th, 2013

    Dumb question – I’ve been trying to get ranged attacks to be effective, but so far, over the course of two days of playing, I’ve not gotten one ranged attack to hit, even dumping all my stats into Accuracy. Is it intended for ranged attacks to be that hard to hit with?

    • jo
    • April 12th, 2013

    you are the guy.

  8. carywalkin :
    I looked up your issue online and found this:
    “The problem is because the client PC doesn’t install Microsoft Office Visual Basic Application. By running office setup then add Visual Basic Application Feature, the script successfully running.”
    I hope this helps!


    • 4eak
    • April 12th, 2013

    You rock! =) This is incredibly creative.

    • David Satzman
    • April 12th, 2013

    Any chance of making this compatible on open office calc?

    • I have no idea how I would start to do that… sorry!

      • Though you may not be interested, it is technically possible, but Calc uses a different object model so it definitely wouldn’t be easy, and some things may not be possible.

  9. 赞!

  10. 真心不错~~

    • writersbloc411
    • April 16th, 2013

    Cary, this is amazing! I’m writing a blog on it to get it out to some friends. Would you care to email a bit so I can get some info on how and why you came up with the concept? Thank you!

    • Thanks! Send me an e-mail with any questions you would like me to answer. (E-mail address is in the About page)

    • Johnny the Wolf
    • April 17th, 2013

    So… I guess I never thought I’d get to phrase things like this… but the game doesn’t work in Excel 2011 on OS X. 😀

    Just kidding. Although it doesn’t work there, I’m sure it’s a great piece of work. 🙂

    • Jonas
    • April 17th, 2013

    …and now you are on the German news as well 🙂

      • Ruth
      • April 17th, 2013

      … that would have been my post as well 🙂
      congrats, great job, and thanks!

    • Bine
    • April 18th, 2013

    any chance you can make it to work on mac excel as well? would love to try it out!

    • I need to remove and recode all ActiveX elements to make this compatible with Excel for Mac 2011. It’s not impossible, it will just take a while. In the meantime, I recommend visiting a library or an internet cafe as they will typically have a compatible version of Microsoft Excel.

  11. This game looks pretty much like a Roguelike… have you looked at games like NetHack?

    • I haven’t played NetHack prior to making Arena.Xlsm but I will definitely check it out when I get a moment to play video games again! Thanks! 🙂

  12. This is a fun game, but do the ranged weapons EVER hit the target?

    • Catz
    • June 3rd, 2013

    hello! every time i try to re-open the game after i had previously played it, it gives me this error: . it is a pity since i have to unlock the achievements all over again… what could be the issue?

    • Hi, please e-mail me a copy of the file that you are using so that I can investigate further. This is the first time that this bug has been reported. As a workaround, try downloading a new (blank) copy of Arena.Xlsm Version 1.3 from the website, open the new copy, and then use the “Import Saved Data” feature on the title page of the new copy and navigate to your old copy. This should create a brand new (hopefully fixed) version of your game with all of your achievements and collections fully intact! Please let me know if this works for you.


        • Catz
        • June 3rd, 2013

        Thank you very much for the reply! Here is the file: . Your workaround is the first thing that crossed my mind and it did indeed work! For what it’s worth, I’m on a 64-bit Win7.

        • Andrea
        • January 8th, 2015

        I’m getting the same error… with a clean copy of the game (just downloaded). I activated all the macros and activeX automatically.
        Would like to play under Excel 2013 / Windows 7 … Until now no chance

  13. thank you this game is very cool

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