In a World of Funny Animals, a Bank Robbery is underway at the First Animal Bank, and it's up to the player to stop the wrongdoers. Hit the Drug Rat, Diamond Weasel, Machine-Gun Croc, and Loan Shark targets to put them in jail, then shoot the right ramp and bring down the Mafiosaurus Rex for the Jackpot. Spell POLICE to light the Bullseye for the Top Cop bonus, then load up the Patrol Car and roll it out to start multiball. Use your sharpshooting skills to repeatedly hit the center ramp for Unlimited Millions, or be a Cowboy Cop and Take the Highest Score from the other players.
Ambitious pinball players tend to look down at Police Force, as its modest difficulty, unbalanced scoring and "Take Highest Score" gimmick make it all but useless for competitive play. On the other hand, those same traits also endear it to more easygoing players, as its casual-friendly gameplay makes it approachable for all skill levels, and the score-stealing feature makes for rowdy multiplayer games with friends.
Word of God is that the game was originally intended to be a Batman license, with the police car as the Batmobile and the Jail as the Bat Cave. The game was rethemed when Data East got the rights instead.
A digital version of Police Force is available for the Atari Lynx as part of the Pinball Jam compilation game.
Police Force demonstrates the following tropes:
- Animal Stereotypes: Used all over the place.
- The main protagonists are a lion and a leopard (powerful and majestic).
- The backup policemen are a rhinoceros and two dogs (one incompetent cop and two loyal ones).
- The main villains are a rat, a shark, a weasel, and a crocodile (animals with various unsavory traits).
- The Big Bad is a Tyrannosaurus Rex (badass top of the foodchain).
- One of the civilians is a fox vixen wearing a fur coat (sexy and confident).
- A model in a fashion store is a peacock (vain and pompous).
- The candidate in a political billboard is a bald eagle (patriotic).
- Animal Theme Naming: The villains. Justified in that it is a World of Funny Animals.
- Animals Lack Attributes:
- Played straight for the most part, as even the animals without pants have no attributes visible.
- Subverted with the tortoise around the bumpers, whose clenched anus can be seen beneath his shell. It's not normally visible from the player's position at the end of the table, however.
- Bank Robbery: The backglass depicts a robbery at the First Animal Bank.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The policemen are almost fully clothed, save for their lack of shoes.
- Company Cross References: The stretch taxi seen on the backglass is from Mark Ritchie's previous game, Taxi.
- Drugs Are Bad: One of the police cars has a prominent "Say No To Drugs" bumper sticker on the rear trunk.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Drug Rat has his tail curled around an eight ball; in street parlance, an "eight ball" is 3.5 grams of meth or cocaine.
- Golden Snitch: The Take the Highest Score feature, which adds the highest score out of all players to your own (or doubles your score if you are the highest score, or are playing single player). Additionally, the Unlimited Millions feature on the center ramp is worth far more than anything else in the game.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The villains and civilians tend to wear very little clothing.
- Loan Shark: Played literally, as Loan Shark is a great white shark carrying two bags of cash in his fins.
- Monkey Morality Pose: Appropriately enough, three monkeys sitting on the roof of the City Jail adopt this pose.
- Phlegmings: Seen on the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the backglass.
- Pimp Duds: The Drug Rat is wearing a wide-brimmed white hat and bright blue suit, with a hypodermic needle in place of a cane.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Almost all of the police are using revolvers, even as the criminals are armed with machine guns.
- Shout-Out: The bumpers depict a tortoise and a hare dodging ricocheting bullets.
- The Something Force: The police force, of course.
- Spelling Bonus: G-U-N increases the bonus multiplier, while P-O-L-I-C-E enables the Top Cop bonus.
- Skill Shot: Launching the ball turns a target range spinner, and each turn advances the bonus from 10,000 to 100,000 points.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: The Big Bad of the game, Mafiosaurus Rex.
- Video Game Stealing: The "Take Highest Score" feature, where a player who uses his last ball to shoot the right ramp twice in a row gets the highest score added to his own (on a single-player game, the player's score doubles).
- World of Funny Animals: The main game setting; populated by a mix of Funny Animals.