I'm totally addicted to Puzzle Quest. I have a lot of trouble resisting the urge to pick up the DS and play another session. I ask myself why that is. "I could be playing God of War II right now," I say to myself. "It's really just Bejewelled. Why am I playing Bejewelled?" I ask myself. "The production values aren't even as high as Bejewelled," I say. "They traded scope for quality." And yet I keep playing.
I don't like Bejewelled. It doesn't engage me anywhere near the level of say, a Tetris or Minesweeper. The beauty of Puzzle Quest is it adds a layer on top of Bejewelled that makes it interesting, illustrating Sid Meier's whole thing of small mechanics layered on top of small mechanics. Because those jewels you collect become mana which then power spells that give you special abilities and/or do direct damage to your opponent, and because your opponent is taking turns on the same Match 3 board that you are, it suddenly becomes interesting. Then, add to that the macro game, where you're deciding what spells and items to bring into a session, and the leveling up and economy of an RPG...it works!
Add to that the short session length - it's actually deceptive - a single session can take fifteen minutes or more if you're being careful - but I trick myself into thinking I can do another combat in just five minutes. And then another. And another.