In video games, power-ups are objects that instantly benefit or add extra abilities to the game character as a game mechanic. This is in contrast to an item, which may or may not has a benefit and can be used at a time chosen by the player. Although often collected directly through touch, power-ups can sometimes only be gained by collecting several related items, such as the floating letters of the word ‘EXTEND’ in Bubble Bobble. Well-known examples of power-ups that have entered popular culture include the power pellets from Pac-Man and the Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros.,
Items that allow characters to have power-ups are usually pre-placed in the game world, spawned randomly, dropped by beaten enemies or picked up from opened or smashed containers. They can be differentiated from items in other games, such as role-playing video games, by the fact that they take effect immediately, feature designs that do not necessarily fit into the game world (often used letters or symbols emblazoned on a design), and are found in specific genres of games. Power-ups are mostly found in action-oriented games such as maze games, run and guns, shoot ’em ups, first-person shooters, and platform games.
Offensive abilities Give a new weapon or transform the player character into a more aggressive form that increases its attack power or makes some enemies vulnerable.
Defensive abilities typically consist of items like shields (usually a “force field”) surrounding the character that deflects projectiles or absorbs a certain amount of damage, or invincibility/invulnerability.
Evasive abilities are items which help the player avoid or escape enemies or enemy weapons.
Access abilities are normally items which AIDs the player enter new or previously inaccessible areas, or “warp” to another level.
Health and life reserves are items that increase health for a permanent or short amount of time.
Ammunition and power reserves are in some games. This is when using certain items or abilities requires the use of a resource such as ammunition, fuel or magic points. Some games also have power-ups which increase the player’s maximum ammunition or power capacity.