Stardew Valley Guidebook – Review

Available through FanGamer, this farmer’s almanac from Kari Fry (and ConcernedApe) provides a wealth of information, advice and checklists for budding farmers eager to explore all that life in Stardew Valley has to offer. I’ve been playing the video game a decent amount and so was excited to check out this companion book.

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I had purchased one of Kari Fry’s previous books, the Field Guide to Kanto shown above, and been really impressed with the quality of both her work and of the printing itself. That made pre-ordering both the Stardew Valley Guidebook and the Junimo Coloring Book a no-brainer when coupled with how much I enjoy the game itself. The books arrived Dec 11th, and as is typical of FanGamer purchases I’ve made, they were well packaged and included were a couple of miscellaneous extras, in this case a sticker & pin. In fact, the only negative thing about them is that seeing the binding on this book made me wish I’d ordered the hardback version of the Pokemon guide back when I originally bought it, as this thing is just gorgeous.

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The guidebook is split into chapters dealing with the various aspects of Stardew Valley life, with the final chapter being an info-packed appendix full of lists designed to provide an easy reference. Each chapter features lists and tips for the subject being covered, yet remains super readable, helped along by the fact that the entire thing is beautifully illustrated in full colour. The illustrations aren’t just pretty either, every item illustrated is recognizable from the game despite the difference in art style ensuring you can easily reference what you’re looking at, and the use of borders and backgrounds helps delineate sections & lists making the book a joy to reference.

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One of the most extensive, and likely most useful chapters in the book details the residents of pelican Town and the surrounding areas along with their likes and dislikes in order to help you build and maintain friendships, and perhaps even romance as you develop your farm. Not only is the chapter super helpful, but the information within has also been printed on the inside of the dust-jacket, so that you can actually remove it for use during play as a handy reference poster by your computer/console!

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Now, I currently have 2 saves in the game so I don’t know that I’ll be making use of the handy checklists that are scattered throughout the book, at least not for now. But they look to be super useful for tracking your progress and so I keep being tempted – perhaps I can figure out a colour key or something to have both games indicated on the same lists???

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If you’re interested in having an easy reference for the game at your fingertips or just want to show your love of Pelican Town on your shelves, I highly recommend picking up a copy. And the companion Junimo-themed colouring book is well worth picking up also, as it features clever, intricate designs printed on quality paper, with perforated pages, and a handy guide to the Junimo alphabet. Available from Fangamer, the Guidebook is $29 and the Colouring Book is $9, although if you bundle the two together, you can currently save $3.

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