Ice and Fire was released on the coattails of the very popular Doom first-person shooter
. The story involves a mysterious alien threat that has attacked a research installation on an asteroid. In a final attempt to secure the facility, the human inhabitants initiate an asteroid-wide freezing that places everyone in cryogenic suspension, including both the aliens and humans. The player takes control of a soldier sent in response to the asteroid's distress call, tasked with thawing the humans and destroying the alien menace.
Gameplay in Ice and Fire is divided into two distinct modes. The first mode is used for navigation between different dungeon levels, consisting of on-rails
navigation of a spacecraft. The player controls the movement of the ship only at intersections of the rails, flying over and through the asteroid in search of docking ports. These ports may provide the player with various power ups
or may be the entrance to the game's dungeons which transition to the second mode of play.
The second gameplay mode handles much like a standard first-person shooter from the early 1990s. The player uses two weapons, a fire gun and an ice gun, to thaw civilians and freeze or fry aliens. Freezing an alien requires less ammo, but the alien is not killed. Instead, it is turned into an ice block that is indistinguishable from ice blocks containing civilians. Aliens will also use fire and ice attacks against the player, so the player must regulate his suit's temperature through the use of special rooms scattered throughout the level. If temperature within the suit gets too cold, the player freezes and must reload the game or wait for a wandering civilian to thaw him. If the suit gets too hot, the player dies.