I love Mage Knight, and the puzzle that brings in to the table... but I need a lot of table to play it. Dungeon Crawler brings me the same feeling, solving encounter after encounter with the deck on my hand, with a smaller footprint. I can just, 30 mins before making dinner, shuffle the dungeon cards, the crawler cards, put my adventurers on line and go for a run (I DO love shuffling, I have all the cards sleeved, it adds extra satisfaction).
I like having options, making decisions NOW. Playing LOTR LCG is fun too, but the mechanic of only to draw a card per turn kills me. Give me more!! Dungeon Crawler allows me to draw more cards, and discard them if I don't like them. Of course, I am making my crawler deck thiner and If I can't get more cards from it, I lose. A risk I have to take...
The resources, I was confused with this mechanic, but worked well. I can feel the oppression when my resources low because some of my heroes perished. And when the first hero falls... I know that I am doomed, but I keep going. I still have hope. Normally In other games I would just give up.
The tension of what is coming now. The Dungeon deck is full of nasty things and challenging combination of cards that could take you out in a blink. I do enjoy revealing the new cards, putting them in line and evaluating the new threat and puzzle I have to solve.
The quests are very generic, but I found them (after the initial frustration with them) good enough and they make their job. "Put a unique character in the grave" -> "Go through the dungeon and kill the boss" or "Put 30 characters in the grave" -> "Go nuts in the dungeon and kill everything".
So after 7 years of this game being out, I just discovered it and I am enjoying it like crazy.
My recommendation, if you like puzzle deck building games, with tons of replayability (only with the core box) in a fantasy world. Give Dungeon Crawler a try. Go through the painful process of getting annoyed by the tokens or some of the art of the cards. Put effort in learning it.
It will pay off.