In Mario Kart the player takes control of one of eight Mario series characters, each with differing capabilities. In single player mode players can race against computer controlled characters in multi-race cups over three difficulty levels. During the races, offensive and speed boosting power ups can be used to gain an advantage. Alternatively players can race against the clock in a Time Trial mode. In multi-player two players can simultaneously take part in the cups or can race against each other one-on-one in Match Race mode. In a third multiplayer mode – Battle Mode – the aim is to defeat the other player by attacking them with power ups, destroying balloons which surround each kart.