AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department is a top-down twin stick arcade shooter with gameplay similar to the Geometry Wars games. The visual style has many bright neon elements inspired by the Vectrex game Mine Storm and the TRON films. The player commands a ship in a single arena with the goal to survive as long as possible, defeating waves of enemies. Typical for the genre movement and the shooting direction are controlled independently. One of six available weapons needs to be chosen before starting the game. Initially only the Gatling gun is available, and later on others such as a shotgun or a phaser are unlocked after reaching a certain amount of points. It is also possible to select one of six ship modifications, with variations for speed, shield and cooling. Firing raises a heat level and the weapon needs to cool down regularly to decrease the meter. If maximum heat is reached anyway, the ship ejects a heat bomb and the weapon is disabled for a short time.
The game is played in a round arena where enemies crawl out of the walls, usually in large groups. Enemies come in two colours (orange and purple) with four types for each. There is the regular drone that forms a swarm, large worm-like bouncers, cruisers that track the ship with heat spheres, a grappler with a tether that can slow down the ship's movement, a battleship with a massive beam and so on. Destroyed enemies leave behind blue fragments that add to a score multiplier. When hit, the multiplier is decreased. A ship has a limited amount of health carried over between waves and there is no way to restore it. When damage is taken an emergency shield is activated for a short while. The ship has access to a limited amount of charges for one of five superweapons and destroyed enemies also leave behind pick-ups such as time dilation, score multiplier, reduced heat level, emergency shield and a bad one that briefly disables the primary weapon.
Between waves the player can choose between two types of challenges with score multipliers as a reward. These challenges influence enemy speed, introduce new hazards or additional risks. There are five game modes: Standard (minimal ruleset with more complexity for each round), Tough Transporters (fully upgraded superweapon transports), Hostile Space (more environmental dangers), High-Tech Armada (enemies start with all abilities) and Design. In the latter the player can design custom rulesets choosing from a large amount of modifiers. Some levels incorporate an Omega Bomb that needs to be collected in time. When it set off it expands, filling the entire arena and killing everything, but only leaving a small amount of room for the player and enemy ships in the middle.
The game supports local, cooperative multiplayer for up to four players playing on a single screen.