This guide to Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter is quite comprehensive. It contains countless details on items, spells, weapons and armor. The enemies you'll face are discussed. Locations of hidden treasures are revealed. For those gamers who are stuck, the guide offers detailed maps and walkthroughs for each area in the Heart of Winter expansion.
Despite this wealth of information, I believe that this book does not provide a good value for gamers. First of all, 99% of these "secrets" and strategies can be found for free on the internet. Secondly, the game manuals (supplied with the game) are quite comprehensive themselves, meaning that this strategy guide is often just repeating information that has already been presented. But even more importantly, this book provides so much information as to take all the fun out of playing the game.
Icewind Dale and Heart of Winter are very "linear" games. In other words, there is usually only one path to take. So the fun comes from building up your party of brave adventurers through hard-fought battles with terrible monsters. The manual deliberately leaves out all the tiny details on how best to group your party, or what weapons to use in different situations, leaving these things for the player to discover. Unfortunately, the manual reveals all this and more, and I feel that it leaves almost nothing for the player to discover on his/her own. I realize some people will consider my comments to be unfair criticism; after all, this is a strategy guide and it is *supposed* to reveal the techniques that work! Plus, the argument continues, you don't *have* to read those sections.
To its credit, this strategy guide does provide some very useful suggestions on one of the most important parts of the game: creating your characters. You will live (or die!) with these characters for the rest of the game, and it is important to create a well-balanced party, not to mention one that you'll enjoy playing with. Here the guide really does shine, helping players choose from the many player types available. Yet once again, I must point out that this information is available for free on various internet fan sites.
So if you are a novice gamer, and Heart of Winter has you stuck and frustrated -- and if you like holding a book in your lap -- then this guide will be a good purchase. But for everyone else, I'd suggest saving your money.