When the title screen pops up, your heart sinks. Along with a portrait of rap's most famous Charlie Brown fan, there's a pimped-up American muscle car and some bling-encrusted gothic font work. Everything suggests you're about to be thrown into the risible-if-it-weren't-true world of guns, drugs and mistreated women.
For that reason, it's a nice surprise to find that the Dee-Oh Double-Gee's contribution to mobile gaming is actually fairly original, highly playable, and so wholesome De La Soul would likely approve.
Snoop Dogg Cruisin' Los Angeles takes you to a world where a well-oiled suspension is as important as women in gaudy bikinis, as it concentrates on the fascinating world of hydraulic pump low-riders. You've undoubtedly seen these vehicles on MTV and the like. The highly modified classic American vehicles can bounce, tilt, jump and rock using enormous suspension systems, and they absolutely look very cool in the process.
On that basis, you must enter various competitions and challenges across Los Angeles, proving yourself as a rising star of vehicular bouncing about, striving to earn extra cash and customise your ride.
Most of your time will be spent in one of four events; Height, Snoop Says, Freestyle or Cruise. Initially, you tackle these events alone, as you work your way up the difficulty settings, before entering competitions, and eventually moving around neighbourhoods as the respect you earn makes you famous.
Height is the best event despite being incredibly basic: all you do is bounce your car. Keeping your wheels still throughout, and only pressing one button, you must build momentum with well timed jabs at your keypad. Despite being rudimentary, this mode is incredibly addictive, and when taken to competition level - where you leap simultaneously with a rival in a head-to-head bounce off - it's genuinely involving and intense, despite sounding a little silly.
Snoop Says follows a more traditional rhythm-action model. Cruising slowly down the street, you must press different directional buttons in time with the prompts that float across the bottom of the screen to tilt and flex your car to a set routine. In the competition version of this, the game changes slightly, requiring you to mimic the hydraulic skills of a rival as you drift through rundown neighbourhoods.
Freestyle mode works in a similar fashion, letting you build up your own routines, while Cruise combines several events into a small tournament.
To some degree then, while Snoop Dogg Cruisin' could be accused of being repetitive, insubstantial and startlingly simple, you could say the same about plenty of other games, such as Tetris and Bejeweled. The gameplay on offer might get boring after an hour, but the size of the challenges are perfectly suited for playing during regular downtime. In that context, taken in bitesized-chunks, this will keep you going for some time. The music is well suited to the setting too, and the visuals are more than competent.
So, while it might be hard to find much in Snoop Dogg Cruisin' Los Angeles to get overly enthusiastic about, it is very playable. Even if you aren't attracted to the culture of Snoop Doggy Dogg and his granny-scaring colleagues, this makes for an enjoyable nugget. Or as the man himself would undoubtably say, apropos of nothing much; 'fo' shizzle, ma nizzles'