Midnight Landing is the first game in Taito's arcade flight simulation series. It tasks players with safely landing a commercial jet liner making a night flight into a major city. The game begins with the plane already aloft and ready to begin its descent. Since the game takes place at night the player can't make out any scenery by eye, and has only the lights on the runway and the airplane's instruments to guide them. Despite being an arcade game, the pace is slow and deliberate; a single safe landing takes several minutes. The player controls the plane using two primary inputs: an airliner-style yoke, and a throttle for controlling speed. In addition to these physical controls, an on-screen control panel displays information about the craft's current position and speed.
The unique, deluxe cabinet recreates the interior of an airliner cockpit, including the game's primary controls - the yoke and throttle. This extends to the cabinet design, which is outfitted with custom "Taito Air Lines" livery.