In the beginning of the 21st century, Earth is experiencing a global oil shortage. Surprisingly, Tunisia remains one of the few countries still in possession of large quantities of high-quality oil. USA and Soviet governments race each other in their attempts to purchase as much oil as possible. Finally, the Soviets take a step further and kidnap the US ambassador, hoping to provoke an international incident. Naval Officer Johnny Westland is sent to Tunisia with the order of rescuing the ambassador and preventing further escalation of the conflict.
Code-Name: Iceman is primarily an adventure game similar to Sierra's other works in that genre. The player navigates the protagonist in eight different directions from third-person view, and types text commands to interact with the environment. The command "Look" may be typed separately and lead to different text descriptions depending on where on screen the protagonist is positioned. The game is similar to Police Quest series in that it relies on realistic procedures, in this case military instructions, first aid, etc. The player may reach dead ends and resort to restoring an earlier save if some of these procedures are not followed properly. In addition, a considerable portion of the game consists of submarine simulation, requiring the player to navigate a submarine and fight enemy craft.