Why am I still playing Puzzle Quest? I don't enjoy it, it has no particularly riveting gameplay features or a compelling story. It's completely unsatisfying to play, yet... I load it up almost every night. I used to accuse it of cheating, but I've realised there's something even worse at work here: It's so utterly random that it negates any attempts at strategic play, yet it sells itself as a game that requires such an approach. As a result it's a completely hollow experience. A game that demonstrates more strongly than most a sense of futility and pointlessness. Nothing more than a time waster.
You can't plan ahead at all, because with every turn the situation changes. Winning a match is very rarely about playing well - it's almost exclusively about being lucky. In fact, I would argue that it is 100% about being lucky. This being the case, it's simply not satisfying in any way other than the basic thrill you get out of watching matched-up pieces disappear - sometimes explode - and a new bunch dropping down. Victories aren't to be celebrated because each match could go either way. It's not an achievement.
I don't have an answer to that opening question, by the way. This is what frustrates me more than anything. I'll probably keep playing it until I've cleared it, but I can't think of any other occasion where I've stumbled so blindly through a game with such a minimal amount of enjoyment.