The game mechanics are very traditional: you can move your character left, right, and jump. You can also use a special button that will let you throw seeds. When you shoot one of the seeds at a green surface, it can grow into a mushroom or a root. The mushrooms help you jump more, while the roots serve as platforms.
In Ascent there are only two relatively short levels that you can complete in less than half an hour. Although both levels have very difficult parts, luckily, you'll find 'checkpoints' scattered throughout so the game doesn't get overly frustrating.
Ascent is a platform game with very nice graphics (courtesy of Unreal Engine) and a pretty good control system. However, it's better if you play with an Xbox 360 controller.