1 August 2017

REVIEW: Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash

Car-ving some new fun.

Its been a good few months since we reviewed any new Nerf blasters, and its safe to say that things have... well, changed. Checking out the toy-maker's latest range of blasters, we review the Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash.

So why is this gun so weird? Well, although it kinda looks like a Nerf Elite Blaster (with the classic blue and orange colours, like the Hyperfire, Rapidstrike, and Jolt, to name but a few), this thing can't shoot the regular foam darts, and it can only operate while sitting squarely on a flat surface. That is because the Nerf Nitro Longshot, along with all the other new Nitro sets, shoots little foam cars. Awesome.

This thing is a toy car launcher, of the kind you might have seen from Hot Wheel or Matchbox. Instead of intentionally shooting other people, kids can line up trick shoots, send their cars leaping over ramps, and crashing into obstacles; either with a friend, or by themselves.

And that is a new one on Nerf. Ordinarily with usual Nerf blasters, it is only ever any fun when you have a friend to play against, trying to hit each other with darts. The Nitro range takes the emphasis away from violence (fair enough) and places it on skill, aiming, and practice. 

So anyway, that is the gist of the new line. The Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash set itself includes the blaster, two of the new foam cars, a ramp, and a few small plastic objects to crash into. The Long Shot itself is fairly sizeable, being slightly bigger than a Nerf Elite pistol of similar price, but having the unique flat-bottomed, angled-downwards design. To cock it, you pull back on the rear handle, insert a car into the front, and press the whole thing downwards into the ground or table surface. This ensures that a safety button on the underside is pressed, allowing the kids to fire away.

Oh, and yes, this thing can also be very comfortably held by an adult, despite being aimed at younger kids. As with all other Nerf "guns" that we have reviewed, this means that both kids and adults can play together with the same product, and it also opens it up for adults to play by themselves; it is a Nerf product after all, so there will be adult appeal.

Once you pull the trigger the car in propelled forwards at a pretty impressive speed. The wheels of the car do actually spin very smoothly, and despite being coated in soft and pliable foam, there is enough weight in it to travel forwards well. We discovered that the going was best on a totally smooth surface, such as lino or on a table. Carpet, particular rough, slag-pile carpet, slowed the cars down quite a lot, reducing range and impressiveness.

But, get a good smooth, fast shot, hit the ramp just right, and those cars will fly! Certainly this thing doesn't fire cars in same way an Elite Blaster shots a dart, but we found that a 15 feet range was achievable in a single shot; longer if conditions are good. That was where the real fun of the Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash set lives; in lining up the ramp and firing the car as far as you can to crash through the obstacles, or bounce off walls (or, if we're being honest and going against Nerf's philosophy with this line of toys, other people). It is a tonne of fun.

So the Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash set might not have the appeal of the larger, scarier, more attention-grabbing blasters, but as a self-contained game - particularly when played with a pal - it is great. Additional cars are available to buy, and there are other blasters (some we'll be reviewing soon) in the Nitro range. Check it out.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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