Three darts per second
A fun, if niche, blaster. Not for everyone, though,
D-Dart Blizzard ReviewFebruary 23, 2022
When the D-Dart Tempest was released in 2019, it was an interesting take on foam blasting. Although it was underpowered, it showed lots of potential, and modders had a field day with it. A second version reached shelves at the beginning of 2021, fixing dart compatibility issues. Now, after some long delays in production and shipping due to the pandemic, Bullseye Limited has fun new variants available through Target. While some aim for faster reloading, rate of fire, or even multiple darts at a time, the Blizzard opts for sheer capacity.
Does it take a while to load? Yes. Are you doomed if you run out of ammo and need to reload? Most likely. But until you reach that point, the Blizzard’s endurance makes for a fun time, much more so than the original.
Magazines. Magazines Everywhere.
The Blizzard does look a bit funny, with twenty, four-dart magazines spread around it. The package comes with 76 darts, and one magazine is of a different color. That implies leaving the starting magazine blank; it does make it easier to set up the blaster without risking some kind of jam. Even so, careful alignment means you can load 80 darts total and still be fine.
Blaster operation is similar to that of its predecessor. The Blizzard runs off of 4 AAA batteries, has an on/off switch at the front, and a firing trigger directly beneath that.
One important difference? There’s finally a rev trigger! You can spin up the flywheels when you want to, as opposed to only having the choice of on or off. However, due to what I imagine are space limitations, it’s placed in a somewhat awkward spot – at the back of the grip. This means you have to grip the blaster loosely when not intending to fire, and tighten your grip to rev it up. You end up pressing the button with the web between your thumb and index finger. It’s not painful or anything, just unorthodox. It’s something you have to get used to doing, but it’s certainly not a dealbreaker. Just keep it in mind.
The blaster features twenty proprietary magazines, holding four darts each, that latch into place when loaded. A ridge at the back of the flywheel cover lifts darts off the one aligned with the barrel. This relieves pressure on that particular dart so that the pusher (essentially a big plastic leaf spring) can hit it into the flywheels.
As with the other D-Dart blasters, a rotating lock on the back can hold the pusher out of the way, allowing for free rotation of the carriage when loading magazines and darts.
On AAA batteries, I averaged 52fps. As with the rest of the line, the Blizzard can only pull so much current from AAA alkaline batteries. Rate of fire was acceptable, with three darts per second at first. Note that as the blaster empties and the plastic followers in the magazines move inward, the rate of fire increases a bit. For those who haven’t taken physics, just know this is a quirk of angular momentum and mass distribution. Like how an ice skater with their arms tucked in can spin much faster than when their arms are extended.
The Blizzard is somewhat heavy. For some, that may end up being a turnoff, especially if you expect to carry it for a while.
Reloading, however, is a chore. It takes several minutes to fully load the blaster, and if you have to reload in battle…you’re going to have a bad time. You could, in theory, load the magazines in order so that you at least have a dart ready for defense. But actually making that happen in battle is unlikely.
Of course, given the ammo capacity, the Blizzard has some appeal in a specific niche: Humans v. Zombies. As such, I ran the Blizzard in a few rounds recently. Z13 (out of the Detroit area) has Zombie Deathmatch as their initial game type. One life each, two teams, people who die become zombies, and we see who lives the longest. And due to it being an HvZ format, blaster tags don’t count (both for zombies and humans, to keep things uniform). With those rules at hand, the Blizzard was perfect. The rate of fire was sufficient for repelling zombies (even as the last human), the giant gauntlet ended up acting as somewhat of a shield, and for a single round, it was more than enough darts. I can only imagine what would happen if you modified the Blizzard for a much higher dart velocity and rate of fire.
The D-Dart Blizzard is a niche blaster, aiming to have enough endurance for a round of combat, and it largely succeeds in that regard. It has some ergonomic issues concerning weight and rev trigger placement, and reloading is a chore. But if you’re looking for something that can last one round (assuming you’re not the type to spam darts everywhere) and possibly a mission of Humans v Zombies, this might be a viable choice, especially once modified. For everyone else, though, it’s a fun blaster that nevertheless is at a disadvantage compared to so many other, more powerful blasters on the market.