Abattoir! A topical Scratch game.

Martin O’Hanlon from Stuff About Code (you might recall Thursday’s post about his adventures in Minecraft) has written a Scratch game that made us laugh. Hard.

Wherever you are in the world, you’ve probably heard something about the recent horsemeat adulteration scandal in Europe, where cheap beef mince products like lasagna and frozen burgers turned out to be anything up to 100% horse. In Abattoir! you’ll be making sure that only delicious cow makes it into the mincer. Have a look at this video for some gameplay.

Get the code at Stuff About Code.


Marius avatar


diereinegier avatar

Right you are, but a long time ago I did similar stuff. But I would never had it released to the public.

A little bit of head scratching and raised eyebrows over here.

Martin O'Hanlon avatar

Don’t tease with the long time ago I did similar stuff? What stuff? Was it very naughty?

Joe avatar

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Excellent horseplay er, gameplay!

Wobbulator avatar

Hilarious. Reminds me of Bouncing Babies which was popular on the very early VGA PCs.

Ravenous avatar

Bouncing Babies! I remember that one! Somebody should resurect it.

Nathan avatar

Nothing better than an adulterated burger! Yum :D
I think the food manufacturers should play this game to make sure that the right thing goes in the mincer, instead of practicing in real life!

halley avatar

This reminds me of one of my first big programs on a Commodore VIC=20.

I wrote a Space Invaders clone, where you dispensed cyanide-laced pills to a horde of unsuspecting sick people, who died off promptly. Yes, you guessed it, inspired by the Tylenol crisis of 1982. Later, Nintendo came out with Dr Mario which seemed familiar.


My next sick game was called Hood Ornament, which was a prescient distant precursor to Carmageddon, some 15 years ahead of its time.

In this Abbatoir! game, I really like the cutesy animal graphics. It hides the horrific nature of what the game is really about. Perfect for learning programming and getting involved with current events, too.

Martin O'Hanlon avatar

The horse and cow sprites are actually pictures of some of my 4 year old’s wooden toys!

Jim Manley avatar

You’d be amazed how many adults, let alone kids, have no idea that the meat in the plastic packaging in stores and in their meals comes from the very same Bessie the Cow and Clucky the Chicken (and now, surreptitiously, Seabiscuit the Horse) standing in an imaginary idyllic pasture they’ve only seen on TV, in a photo, or perhaps only an illustration in a children’s book. This will certainly cure them of that problem! 8O

liz avatar

There was a lovely bit on The Now Show on Radio 4 yesterday:

“I don’t eat beef.”

[Dramatic pause.]

“Or so I’ve just discovered.”

Jim Manley avatar

Oh, now that’s funny!

Just so you don’t think we’ve cornered the market on being uncouth, uninformed, obese sloths as we portray ourselves to be on a daily basis via “reality” TV, movies, and 24 hour news channels, I just saw the Moonwalking pony ad that one of the telecom companies is airing in the UK. Our secret campaign to pollute the remaining class out of the British Empire is now complete – Mission Accomplished! :D

When I was stationed in the Navy in Japan, it was a Japanese federal offense for any Japanese citizen to receive the U.S. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) TV rebroadcasts of U.S. network content coming in via satellite, lest their culture be sullied by our horrible lack thereof. I’m not exactly sure what they were afraid of, though – by now everyone’s seen clips of their game shows that feature such serious themes as a dozen people with their heads exposed through holes around the edge of a large circular board, on which a Komodo Dragon was placed in the middle – last person to not duck wins … assuming they survive! :(

HaggisHunter avatar

Another reason I’m glad to live in a rural area. I get to hear things like:
$8-year-old (looking surprised): You getting the pig slaughtered?
$Parent: Yes.
$8-year-old (looking excited): Can we get sausages?

Richard George avatar

I salute that parent. You try teaching kids that sort of thing over here, you get death threats: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/09/headteacher-kath-cook-has_n_2844082.html

HaggisHunter avatar

Both the (UK) schools I went to served meat just about every lunch time and I never heard of a single complaint, even from the vegetarians who ate alongside meat-eaters. I suppose times have changed – either that or the protestors have nothing against large farms. :p

liz avatar

When my goddaughter was little we used to take her to Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire, where they’re very pragmatic about these things: you’ll be feeding the pigs and dressing as a milkmaid one minute, then when you get hungry you can go to the cafe and get a sausage in a bun made from the same pigs. It was good fun for all of us, and she came out of it with a better understanding of the world around her. And a full tummy.

tzj avatar

After seeing the ‘Rindus’ version of the three ad a few days ago this beats it :)

tzj avatar


jesse avatar

i just dont get whats wrong with horse meat, ikea meatballs taste great!

Zoltan Arvai avatar

Btw horse meat is delicious and healthy. I really like horse sausage with leeks, cucumber, Maasdam cheese and rye bread:

The only problem in this case that horse meat was sold as beef meet. I hope no food will be wasted just because it may contain horse meet.

meltwater avatar

It is more the fact, that they didn’t have a clue about it being in there and what else could get in with such poor controls. Lucky it was just horse.

Of course now, the supermarkets will be charging even more for local meat, as if it wasn’t expensive enough.

Wobbulator avatar

Well for years now we’ve been sold stuff like Stella, Kronenbourg, Carling, Budweiser etc as “beer” and the brewing industry has been getting away with it so it’s nothing new.

Richard George avatar

Despite numerous requests to send it to homelessness charities and so on, all the products believed to contain horsemeat are being destroyed.

The problem isn’t so much that the “beef” contains horse; it also contains pork (which many people can’t eat for religious reasons), and no-one is entirely sure what else it contains, where it came from, or what food safety standards, if any, were applied.

Harrkev avatar

To me, it is all about the labeling. If you EXPECT the product to be cow, it should be cow. There is nothing unhealthy (that I know of) about eating horse, but you should at least be told what is in it.

Tony avatar

At first I thought yuk! but, it is an accurate representation as to what happens to millions of unwanted live, conscious, male chicks from the factory farming system. Look on youtube if you don’t believe me.

Dave avatar

this looks cool :), can’t wait to get my hands on a pi

silverfox0786 avatar

this game looks hilerious

how many cows does it tale to make a burger


now adays your geting the NEIH-bouring animals volunterring

Martin O'Hanlon avatar

I know I made this game and not normally one for self promotion, I do however think its brilliant…

alex avatar

I agree with you. I played the online version and showed my 10-year-old a week or two ago when you posted it in the scratch forum. We laughed our socks off. Can’t believe people are finding something disgusting etc. in it. Bit sad really.

liz avatar

We had a discussion in the office last week about just how many outraged comments this would receive once I posted it – and about how many of those outraged comments would be genuine. (Internet comments do seem to drive synthetic outrage like a tractor.) I’ve made my judgment, but I won’t be sharing it here!

Romilly Cocking avatar

Clip, clop, clip clop my little pony,
Why is my steak so tough and bony?

alex avatar

Because the butcher didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. ;)

silverfox0786 avatar

i was in a restaraunt last week and mentioned teh horse meat situation as i was eating to my mum who was with me

and in the background the waiter said no no dont worry its all lamb meat

then my mum said at home we only buy whole lamb so we know what it is

and it just came to me what if it was a pony that would look the same as lamb

yeah we all cracked up but its true and the above comment reminded me of that day

psergiu avatar

F.Y.I: “Fake” lamb is usually made from stray dogs, not ponies.
Always buy a whole lamb and take a look at the teeth so they are flat and not pointy.
Headless lambs are suspicious.

silverfox0786 avatar

This might sound crude but i only buy lamb that i see running in the fields one minute and next minute im standing by the slaughter guy while he slits its thowt

I go to RJ Steel and Sons in Farnbourogh and buy them fresh they do a domestic appointment only service every Tuesdays

liz avatar

We get lambs (whole ones) from a guy in the village; our beef comes from http://www.camcattle.co.uk/, and it’s lovely. We’ve a friend whose Dad breeds cows too, as a hobby farmer, and we’ve had his beef as well. That’s a little more *sensitive*, because he gives his cows names. “This pot-roast was Horace” is a great opener at a dinner party, though.

Wombat avatar

Pi and politics…… Vote Pi!

Andy avatar

The quote “up to 100% horse” splashed across most UK press slightly bemuses me, particularly as I’ve not seen it picked up by any other pedant. It seems to cover just about anything possible, including 0%
Now, more than 100% or less than 0% could be cause for concern

AndyS avatar

Similar to the dandruff shampoo which “revomes up to 100% of visible flakes”.

Andrew Scheller avatar

Kills 99.9% of all known germs…

diereinegier avatar

When I was wise enough to not release it then, how would I now?

aTao avatar

Had a dodgy cheeseburger, it had mascarpone on it.

liz avatar

A badoom-tish for that man.

nigel avatar

Slightly off topic here but my sister in law and I had an argument tonight about dolphin friendly tuna.
She honestly thought paying 50 cent extra meant no dolphins were harmed catching it.
I said why are we protecting dolphins and not tuna.
She said I could not eat another mammal whilst she was chowing down a steak/horse/dolphin……
Must brush up on scratch I have an idea :-)

Ravenous avatar

“Must brush up on scratch I have an idea”

Angry Dolphins perhaps? :)

Norman Dunbar avatar

Angry Dolphins …….. you might be onto something there! :-)


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