In computer and 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 have 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 (regarded as the first power-up) and the Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros., which ranked first in UGO Networks' Top 11 Video Game Powerups.
Items that confer 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 don't necessarily fit into the game world (often used letters or symbols emblazoned on a design), and are found in certain 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, platform games, puzzle games, and vehicular combat games.