Masked individuals peer from behind paint-spotted pillars, sporting loaded paintball guns, also called markers.
Like lions stalking their prey, they patiently wait for an opposing team member to wander into view before pulling the trigger.
In seconds, tiny colorful paintballs are hurled into the air, and within minutes, the fight is over.
Bonehead Paintball, 1325 E. Flamingo Road, offers residents the opportunity to play paintball in an indoor, climate-controlled facility.
“It may be smaller than most outside fields, but my games are fast and furious,” said owner Mike Gallagher. “Besides, when it’s 107, I’m indoors.”
Although there are many types of games in paintball, the standard objective is simple: Don’t get hit.
“If you get shot anywhere from head to toe, on the marker or the mask, you are out,” Gallagher said. “The standard game is basically to capture the flag without getting hit.”
Players are required to wear safety gear at all times. Gallagher recommends wearing layers of loose-fitted clothing that cover the arms, legs and head.
“It does sting when you get hit,” Gallagher said. “But with the adrenaline rushing through your body, it doesn’t hurt as much as people think. Besides, they usually show off their welts with pride after the game.”
Although games are played in teams, the sport is designed to be fair and equal.
“Ladies can pull the trigger as fast as any guy, and the least expensive marker can shoot as fast as the most expensive marker,” Gallagher said. “It’s also one of the only sports where smaller players have an equal or even greater advantage over the bigger players.”
The name is a bit of a misnomer because paintballs are not made of paint, according to Gallagher. The shells are made from gelatin and filled with glycerin, which can be found in household and food products.
“Although you leave filthy, it does wash out,” Gallagher said. “It’s nontoxic and good for your hair and skin, believe it or not.”
Bonehead Paintball is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Packages start at $25.
For more information, visit boneheadpaintball.com or call 702-267-6042.
Paintball packages are also offered at Vegas Xtreme Paintball, 70 W. Craig Road, and Las Vegas Premier Paintball, 1400 N. Rampart Blvd. For more information, visit vegasxtremepaintball.com or lvpp.net.
If you’ve ever dreamed of participating in a zombie apocalypse, now is your chance.
Combat Zone Paintball, 13011 Las Vegas Blvd. South, offers 20-minute interactive zombie apocalypse experiences from 8 to 11 p.m. Fridays, according to co-owner Robert Zagby.
The storyline begins with Las Vegas falling to a zombie apocalypse, and the field is the first to be attacked as it lies on the outskirts of the city. The players must shoot zombies while being led to a safe house by a military sergeant.
“It’s just a huge genre right now with ‘The Walking Dead’ and other zombie movies and shows,” Zagby said. “There’s been just so much growth and need for something like this. We started it about three months ago, and we’ve sold out each week.”
Equipped with loaded .50-caliber markers, about eight players are led through the experience at a time. Players will work as a group and in pairs as they enter through four different zones of the experience.
“The objective is to basically survive the experience, even though the participants never get ‘eaten,’ ” Zagby said. “However, our zombies never actually die, either. They just stumble back or fall down, but the participants have to always be on the lookout because (the zombies) can sneak up behind them.
“We’ve actually had to pull people off the field because they’ve had like mini panic attacks, but it is just all fun and games, and everyone understands that.”
By the end of June, Zagby plans to make the experience bigger and twice as long. He is also set to expand it to Thursdays and Saturdays.
“For the 20-minute experience, it’s $25 for locals and $49 for people from out of town,” Zagby said. “Once we make it bigger, it’ll be $45 for locals and $65 for people from out of town.”
The experience is designed for ages 10 or older. Reservations are required and can be made online or by phone.
Combat Zone Paintball is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 to 11 p.m. Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Regular paintball packages are also available.
For more information, visit combatzonepblv.com or call 702-388-9663.
Contact Southwest View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at email@example.com or 702-383-0403.