Artist and game designer Benjamin Rivers released The Ascent, a charming PC platformer with attractive pastel environments and a simple premise: "You play as a girl who's woken up alone and at the bottom of a strange place. Your only option? Go up..

He adds, "There is no score, no life counter, nothing to interfere; you simply press upward and avoid the spiky obstacles that obscure your path." Rivers plans to release a newer version with a musical score and additional changes in the next couple weeks.

He developed The Ascent last weekend as part of the fourth annual Toronto Independent Game Development Jam (TOJam), which challenges hobbyists, students, and professionals to work together or alone to finish a good, small game in three days. Photographer Brendan Lynch uploaded a Flickr set collecting shots of attending developers, and Rivers also posted a set with his own photos from the event.

According to organizers, a total of 90 people created 29 games at TOJam this year. The official site, which features a neat Space Invaders game in the background, promises to post about more games that were birthed from the event throughout May.