What Does Power-Up Mean?

A power-up is an object in a video game which instantly adds to the life, armor, strength or score of a player. Power-ups can be an individual object or a group of objects specifically designed and placed inside a game for the player to win. Obtaining power-ups may vary in difficulty depending on the game and/or benefit given.


Techopedia Explains Power-Up

Power-up items are programmed into a game and sometimes require a player to overcome a challenge, such as winning a difficult fight with an enemy or solving a complicated puzzle, in order to achieve the benefit. They are commonly found in action-oriented games where the player must fight or outrun the enemy, but are also found in nearly every type of game, including maze games, run and guns, shoot ’em ups, first-person shooters, platform games, puzzle games, racing games and vehicular combat games.

Some well-known examples of power-ups are in the Super Mario game series, where a red mushroom makes the character larger, a green mushroom gives an extra life and a star provides invincibility.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…