A pinball game manufactured by Williams Electronics (www.wms.com) which features two gophers named Bud and Buzz who exist to do nothing else other than mess up your game of golf. Thus, the object of this pinball game is to attack the two gophers as often as possible, while trying to finish holes of golf. What makes this game so great, in my opinion, is the fact that the gophers will actually taunt you with phrases such as "What kind of shot was THAT?", "Get off my lawn!", and "Hole in one! Oops, wrong hole!" when you drain the ball. By executing a series of shots, you're able to attack the gophers with modern weapons such as a rocket launcher mounted to the back of your golf cart, and TNT. In a special mode known as Gopher Attack, both gophers will taunt you by saying "Chicken!" and "Over here, chicken!" repeatedly until you hit them. It's great.

Jon Hey is featured as the voice for Bud, the gopher with a less than average IQ, while Vince Pontarelli stars as the sarcastic Buzz. The game was designed by Pat Lawlor, and released in 1998. The current ROM version, as of this writing, for No Good Gofers is 1.3

You can email the designer team of No Good Gofers directly at gofers@wms.com, or find more information at http://www.pinball.com/games/gofers/. It's a shame that the only 'Gofers' machine around, in Playdium Burnaby (as far as I know) is in the need of serious repair. It's a real blast otherwise, though.

No Good Gofers is also notable because, to my knowledge, it is Pat Lawlor’s final game. This is the guy who created Addams Family Pinball, the single most popular pingame ever, ever made, and still a decent earner now many years after its release. Lawlor liked to make tables clever, mixed-up games, often with extra flippers high up on the board. (Addams Family had one flipper that the game itself could use, and at certain times tried to make a particular shot all by itself. There were targets above and below the shot that were often hit if the main shot failed, and using the data from those in combination with an artificial intelligence training algorithm, it could figure out exactly when to make the shot, and could get to be very accurate.) In addition, most Lawlor games had a Multiball Jackpot shot high up on the playfield, usually a ramp that could only be made by using one of those upper flippers. No Good Gofers has such a shot.

Pat Lawlor liked to add novel, sometimes insane, playfield elements in his games. In Addams Family Pinball these were The Power (the infamous magnets under the playfield, which contrary to some peoples’ opinion are not standard equipment on pinball machines), Thing Flips (the afore-mentioned autoflip) and The Thing itself, a model of a hand with an attached magnet which could grab – and return – the ball from a hole at the top of the table. In No Good Gofers, the special features include a wheel set into the playfield covered with sandpaper, which spins rapidly at various times (especially during multiball), playing havoc with the ball trajectory, but also doubling as a "spin-the-wheel" type of award roulette, and a sheet of plastic covering the top half of the board, which could be accessed via a special ramp that raised up at various times and allowed access to a couple of extra shots, including one really difficult-to-reach shot at the very upper-right, the "Hole-In-One" shot, which completed the hole the player was on and also awarded a lot of bonus.

The real object of No Good Gofers is to complete nine holes of golf (through either Hole-In-Ones or the more usual way of making flashing shots on the board then hitting the Putting Green hole) and then play Hole-In-One Challenge, which I have never seen but rulesheets seem to refer to as a special Multiball where a Hole-In-One scores a Special.

I wonder what Lawlor is doing these days? Williams/Bally has left the pinball industry, and I don’t think he’s jumped over to Stern Pinball, has he?

Pat Lawlor is responsible for Stern Pinball's recent release, Monopoly!

He's founded Pat Lawlor Design, which makes games regularly for Stern. Stern seems to be hiring other Williams veterans, too.

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