Clever Canadian Accountant Creates Interactive Game Using Excel

Mar 29th 2013
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By Rachael Power, AccountingWEB UK 

Cary Walkin, a CA and video game enthusiast in Canada, found a novel way of using Excel for something other than number crunching. Walkin, who is also an MBA candidate at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, created a basic video game using nothing but Excel sheets.

The game, Arena.XIsm (Arena), is a fantasy game based on you – the hero represented by a smiley face – fighting various monsters in order to level up and survive. Equipped with basic weapons, such as a sword and bow and arrow, the player can pick up weapons and items along the way to help with each arena round.

Arena is based on a series of letters, each of which the player receives as he or she progresses to each level and more of the story is revealed. Players take on over 2,000 beasts, including black widow spiders, chipmunks, and hyenas, with each defeat building up fame points.

These points can be spent to boost the fighting abilities of the character. It’s quite clever too, as no two games are the same, regenerating each start and with four possible endings.

The game took over four months to complete, according to Walkin, and includes eight bosses, thirty-nine random modifiers, and thirty-six achievements. Since its release March 17, Walkin has been receiving lots of praise from Twitter members.

Arena will remind the player of some very retro games, such as text-based Zork, and is worryingly addictive – so please, finish all other Excel fun before you dash off to play this.

AccountingWEB has managed to get to level four so far, possibly a poor feat, but we’re determined to get our name on the leaderboard.

Potential players can download the game from Walkin’s official blog. It’s available for use on PC versions of Excel, including Excel 2007 and 2013, but not for Mac.


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