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

    • Lalo
    • September 2nd, 2013
    • Xrazy Z
    • November 27th, 2013

    After opening:
    Run-time error ‘1004’:
    Method ‘OnKey’ of object ‘_Application’ failed.

    • What version of Arena.Xlsm are you running? What version of Microsoft Excel are you running?


        • Xrazy Z
        • November 28th, 2013

        Arena 1.3.
        Excel 2010 ver. 14.0.7106.5003 (32-bit).

      • While I was not able to recreate your bug on my computer, I did find a fix for similar situations.

        How to Fix Runtime Error 1004: Microsoft Excel

        If you receive the runtime 1004 error along with this text: “Method on Key Up Object_Application Failed,” use these directions:

        1.Right click on Start.
        2.Select Explorer.
        3.Open C:\Program Files\MS Office\XLSTART directory.
        4.Delete this file: GWXL97.XLA.
        5.Close Explorer.
        6.Open your Microsoft Excel application.

        I hope this helps!

        • Xrazy Z
        • November 29th, 2013

        Problem solved )

      • MS Windows 7

    • Edleader
    • January 2nd, 2014

    Thoroughly enjoyed the game, however, what happens once you have completed it at level 35. I note that the Fame levels go up to 50, or is this purely for future expansion? If this is the case, I look forward to it 😀

    • I’m glad that you have enjoyed the game!

      After you have completed the game, you unlock Hard Mode which provides new challenges. I am working on more end-game content though. There will be an update with more specifics on that in a few months.

      Fame levels capping at 35 rather than 50 was actually a balancing decision during development. The problem with having Fame to 50 was that it would result in severely overpowered players as they would have so much blood to unlock every spell in the game. This made the spell unlock system pointless as players should want to experiment with the various synergies between spells on different play-throughs. Lowering the blood rate (and keeping the level cap at 50), made the earlier levels (10-20) too difficult for new players. Similarly, lowering the blood rate, keeping the level cap at 50, and adding more simplistic monsters in the 10-20 levels resulted in the game feeling too boring and didn’t really fit with the narrative. At level 10 when the spells unlock, there is also a significant ramp-up of enemy diversity which makes the challenge consistent: new enemies and new tools to take on those enemies. At the end of the day, lowering the level cap to 35 and having a default blood drop rate of 2 per kill resulted in a game that was better balanced and more fun.

  1. First time I just download. Let see how it works. I wish it may good enough.

  2. Ok, I tried it and liked it. Great work Cary. One of my students created a detailed game in Excel a few years ago, you can check out the video here. The video starts off a bit slow, but he included sound.

    • Hey Rick, I’m glad you liked the game! I also went to Laurier (HBBA)! Good times! I’m actually going to be there to be a judge for the BU121 New Venture Project in April if you would like to meet up. Send me an e-mail to coordinate.

  3. Grr I forgot to post the link:

    • Eric
    • July 28th, 2014

    Very interesting.

    • Jj
    • August 19th, 2014

    Hello, I need to remove the images of the sword and the heart and listed on the sheet. because at work I need to hide the fact that I’m playing. As I can do? Thank you

    • Hi Jj,

      You can zoom into the sheet to hide the sword/heart/spellbook. You can then use the keyboard controls to use those actions without clicking on them.

    • George
    • August 27th, 2014
    • Luna
    • April 7th, 2015

    I have never had so much fun on a game before. Id recommend it to anyone !

    • Toby
    • May 3rd, 2015

    Why don’t you make it a macro-enabled template sheet so clicking on it starts a new instance you can easily save as what you want?

    • David Short
    • July 8th, 2016

    Cary, I have been following your work for a while now and as I am an avid gamer with the idea of Steam compatibility truly intriguing me. Are you able to provide an update as to where you are up to with making it available on that platform?

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for your interest! I’m hoping to get everything finished and available to the public on Steam by the end of the summer (no promises to hit this yet, this is my estimate based on what I think development time will be relative to my time available). On a technical side, I’ve got Steam talking directly to Excel and I have Excel talking back to Steam so the app works as well as Steam Trading Cards. I’m still working on getting the Steam Achievements functional and once I do the Steam Edition will be ready for testing. I also have new art assets for the Steam Edition to replace the placeholder art. The biggest challenge at this point has just been finding enough time on my end to finish the game. Thanks for your patience.

      Cary Walkin

  1. July 11th, 2013
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