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.