Leif and the American Viking is an educational adventure game about Leif Eiriksson, the Norse explorer who around 1000 AD was the first European to set foot in North America. The game is based on Eirik the Red's Saga, a medieval Icelandic text that describes the discovery. According to the saga two Native American boys were captured and raised by the Norse and in the game it is assumed that one of the boys, Ravenhead has grown up to become a tradesman. In the year 1028 AD Ravenhead sets out on a voyage to Vinland and the player is invited to come with him.
The game is played from a first-person perspective and the player moves between locations by clicking on the scenes. There are no puzzles in the game. Instead the player progresses through the game by talking to various characters. The story of Leif Eiriksson's discovery of Vinland is told by Ravenhead throughout the voyage and it is accompanied by drawings of the events. The voyage is plotted on a map and by clicking on a plot it's possible to return to an earlier location. On the map it is also possible to change to a 2000 AD mode where the player can see contemporary images of the locations visited. An implementation of the ancient board game hnefatafl (or just tafl) is included in the game and can be played by talking to a man on the ship.