For the arena in Bump Battle Royale, see Test Subject (arena).
Silly Sausage Test Subject Arena Office Trap

Test Subject Arena is a platform multiplayer game released June 15, 2011. It is meant for two players, each who are placed in different "arenas" with the aim of shooting each other within the designated arena.

The game is Nitrome's first ever multiplayer game to not have a single player mode, deeming it a multiplayer only game. Because it is a spin-off, the game does not involve the story as seen by the previous games in the series.

A sequel to the game titled Test Subject Arena 2 was released on October 16th 2013. Test Subject Arena, along with all the currently released installments of the Test Subject series, were made Nitrome Touchy compatible on August 16th 2013.



Controls can be adjusted with the setting. To adjust an action, the player has to click a button with the button command for the action, then press the button they wish to assign the action to. Below is a list of default controls.

W key / Up - Jump
A key / Left - Move left
D key / Right - Move right
S key / Down - Crouch
Q key / Slash key - Shoot

Nitrome Touchy

D-pad - Move
Button one - Jump
Button two - shoot


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There are fourteen playable stages in Test Subject Arena. Because it is a multiplayer only game, no unlockable stages exist. Players can pick one of the stages or click the Random button, which randomly selects a stage for them.

At the start of each stage, both players are spawned out of a spawn cylinder with a goo holder that is half full. Both players now have to work their way around the level and attempt to shoot the other player. When the opposing player is killed, whether by the other player or a hazard or an enemy, the opposite player receives some extra goo in their goo holder while the other player loses a portion of their goo. The game ends when one player has depleted the other's goo supply or if time runs out. If time runs out, the player with the most goo in their compartment is declared the winner.

Level 1

Description: The last of the latest adventure.

Hazards: Lasers

Interactive objects: Green Teleporters

Location: Doctor Nastidious's Lab

This stage is cluttered with many platforms, big; small; or L shaped. Each player starts on opposite sides of the stage, close to each other but separated by a few big platforms. Both players can take a shortcut through a platform above them, a jump away, but risk getting hit by Lasers. It has the same layout as the last level of Test Subject Green, but without the enemies.

Level 2

Description: Not just about each other!

Hazards: Detection Proton Cannons

Interactive objects: Green Teleporters

Location: Xeno Industries

A simple level. Green Teleporters taken up most of the walls and take up a small section of the floor. Players are separated by a Green Teleporter when they start. A few platforms are placed above the players. Two Detection Proton Cannons are placed on the ceiling, protected from attack and overseeing the few platforms. Players have to be careful while fighting on the top platform to avoid getting hit by the bullets from the Cannons.

Level 3

Description: Watch where they go!

Hazards: None

Interactive objects: Green Teleporters, Mirrors

Location: Xeno Industries

Many Green Teleporters appear on the walls. 3 Platforms only appear, two horizontal ones, one the holds a Green Teleporter, and several very small platforms branching out from the wall. Two horizontal lines of Mirrors appear at the top of the level. Battle on the top platform can easily become dangerous as Proton Bullets rebound off the Mirrors back into the battle.

Level 4

Description: No floor, no ceiling.

Hazards: None

Interactive objects: Green Teleporters

Location: Xeno Industries

This level has the floor and ceiling replaced with long Green Teleporters. Several platforms big and small are scattered throughout the level. There are no hazards or other interactive objects in the level. Also, the level isn't symmetrical and neither sides are a mirror image of each other.

Level 5

Description: Frantic, simply frantic!

Hazards: None

Interactive objects: Green Teleporters, Switch Buttons

Location: Doctor Nastidous' Lab

Most of the platforms in this level are Button Activated Platforms. Some of the platforms are made stable on Blue, and others on Orange. Most Green Teleporters are placed on the edges of the wall, and some on the middle of the floor. Mirrors in a V shape are placed on the bottom floor separating both players from each other. Three Switch Buttons are placed in the level, one which is placed near the Green Enzyme's starting point.

Level 6

Description: The one with the moving portal.

Hazards: None

Interactive objects: Green Teleporters

Location: Xeno Industries

Both walls are almost completely taken up up by a long Green Teleporter. Several platforms of different sizes are placed around the level, along with a constantly moving Green Teleporter in the middle of the room. A Green Teleporter above and below the Moving Green Teleporter are placed on the cileling and floor of the level. Both players start on the highest platform in the level.

Level 7

Description: The one with the switching portals.

Hazards: None

Interactive objects: Green Teleporters, Blue/Orange Teleporters, Switch Button

Location: Doctor Nastidous' Lab
Many platforms are placed in a line. The floor and ceiling both have small Green Teleporters on them, and Green Teleporters are placed between big platforms attached to the wall. Orange and Blue Teleporters are placed on the bottom of the level and on the highest platform.

Level 8

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Level 9

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Level 10

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Level 11

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Level 12

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Level 13

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Level 14

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All hazards will kill any player if contact is made with them.

  • Lasers - Lasers will frequently switch on, then after some time off. They appear only on level 1 and 10.
  • Detection Proton Cannons - Cannons that will lock on to a player then shoot an orange enzyme bullet. They appear on levels 2 and 9.
  • Mines - Stationary hazards that explode on impact, then quickly respawn. It appears only on level 11.

Interactive Objects

Objects that can help the players.

  • Switch buttons - Whatever colour of light activated is the colour of objects that will be activated. The colour can be changed by shooting the button. Whenever a colour is lit, the opposite colour of objects will be deactivated. They appear on levels five, seven, and twelve.
  • Deactivation buttons -Deactivation Buttons deactivate all green teleporters in the level for a brief time. They appear on only level thirteen.
  • Button activated platforms - They appear as a blue hologram when blue is lit on the switch button, and a full platform when the orange button is lit. They appear on levels five and eight.
  • Green teleporters - Green teleporters are beams that transport the player through another green teleporter when walked through. They appear in every level. A variation which moves appears on level six.
  • Blue and orange teleporters - Teleporters which act like green teleporters, but come in colours of blue and orange. Whenever one colour of teleporter is active, the opposite type is deactivated.
  • Mirrors - Mirrors rebound proton bullets, and can be reversed by the switch button if they are glowing either orange or blue. They appear on levels three, five, ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen.


Enemies can harm both characters.

  • Walking orange enzymes - Walking orange enzymes are spawned out of a spawner mine. The actual enzyme will walk forwards, dying when it meets a platform. They appear only on level thirteen.


  • Turnaround clipping - A way to end up on the wrong end of a teleporter upon entering it by using repeated movement inputs.
  • Super jump - A glitch that allows the player to get a huge vertical boost when respawning.
  • Turnaround sliding - An animation glitch that freezes a character's sprite while they walk.
  • Idle walking - An animation glitch that makes characters stay in their walking animation despite not moving.


The idea for Test Subject Arena stemmed from Nitrome thinking of adding multiplayer to Test Subject Green.[1] Although it would not work as a co-op component for the game's levels, as an arena game they thought it could have enormous potential for fun tactics[1]. At the end of Test Subject Green's development a multiplayer tech demo was created which proved that this idea was fun, so immediately after this development on Test Subject Arena was started.[1]

An AI opponent was created at one point during development but was scrapped due to being too complex to program in the time allotted for work on the game[2]. Prior to being cut, the AI could move but could not do so competently and struggled with choosing when to fight or run from the player[2].

The game was alluded to on May 24 2011 in a Nitrome blog post[3], and was finally released on June 15 2011[4]. An update for the game was released on June 17 2011[5].

When asked about what was used for the voice of the announcer, Nitrome replied that it is "probably" the text-to-speech program that comes with every Macintosh computer[6].


  • May 24 2011 - The game was alluded to in a Nitrome blog post.

Unused content

Test Subject Arena features the most unused content of any Nitrome game, containing sprites from everything from Test Subject Green. Every single sprite, including the ones introduced in Test Subject Arena, are in the game's code. This shows how Test Subject Arena was actually built off Test Subject Green.

Nitrome Touchy version

Test Subject Arena was made Nitrome Touchy compatible on August 16 2013.



  • This is the third time a smaller game part of a Main Game series was released, the first two being Skywire V.I.P. and Thin Ice.
  • Green teleporters are sometimes referred to as "portals" in the game.
  • In level 10, after someone serves the first kill, one of the players can quickly jump on the platform, duck, and continually shoot. The other player will have no chance at killing the other player since it is trapped below a flurry of shots, and the timer will run down to zero before he/she gets a kill.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Test Subject Arena, 15 Jun 11, retrieved 28 May 15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Test Subject Arena 2 Progress: We spent some time in the original trying to make a convincing AI opponent and failed dismally! Though we could make a character move around the arena... getting it to do this intelligently and to choose when to stand and shoot or when to run just proved too big of a challenge for the time we had., 25 Sep 13, retrieved 30 May 15.
  3. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Some Test Subject News!, 24 May 11, retrieved 29 May 15.
  4. ': Test Subject Arena, 15 Jun 11, retrieved 29 May 15.
  5. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Test Subject Arena Update, 17 Jun 11, retrieved 30 May 15.
  6. Frost Trapp: @Nitrome Where does the voice of Rex209, the announcers from Test Subject Arena, and Rainbogeddon come from?

    Nitrome on Twitter: [1]: I can't remember of the top of my head but I think it's probably something where it says what you type., 2 May 2015, retrieved 23 May 2015.

    Nitrome on Twitter: [2]: probably just the one that comes on every Mac, 2 May 2015, retrieved 23 May 2015.

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