A lot of off-site SDCC experiences are moving to AR and VR experiences these days, while others tend to favor physical props and set recreations from shows. AT&T Audience Network show Mr. Mercedes (based on the Stephen King trilogy) offers a fairly layered activation that blends all of these tools – participants are asked to find clues hidden in elaborately built sets, featuring clothing, props, and other items from the show – but find the hidden clues via AR, and can then cap off the experience with a VR escape room.

Photo by Vicky Van

The AR is a cute excuse to comb through the entire activation, but the physical sets of this experience are probably the most unique and rewarding. The area is dressed to look like a hospital, complete with syringes of energy drinks, while the downstairs is a recreation of Brady’s lair:

Photo by Vicky Van
Photo by Vicky Van
Photo by Vicky Van

If you solve the game by finding all of the clues, there’s some relatively good loot as a reward – we were given a bag with 2 t-shirts (and they actually asked us what size we’d like!), half a dozen pins from the show, and one of the syringes we’d seen used for drinks in the hospital.

Photo by Vicky Van
Photo by Vicky Van

We also tried out the VR but it was a little more glitchy, as I think every VR experience I’ve ever had at these activations has been. The experience is located at 643 G. St., a few blocks from the convention center, and will be open Thursday, July 19 – Saturday, July 21 from 10am-6pm PT daily.  Overall the immersive experience includes:

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  • Virtual Reality Escape Room Game – Be fully immersed in a virtual escape room inside Brady’s lair.
  • Augmented Reality Adventure Game – Download the app to embark on an AR-driven investigation helping Detective Bill Hodges crack the case and claim a reward if you succeed.
  • Recreating the Physical World of “Mr. Mercedes” – The show’s set designers are recreating Finders Keepers, Mercy General Hospital and Brady’s lair using actual props.
  • Bringing Brady to Life Through Projection Mapping – 3-D light projection will creepily bring Brady to life in his hospital bed.
  • Lenticular Photo Experience – This photo op will transform the participant’s face into Brady’s along with a socially shareable GIF.