I think themes and aesthetics can shunt an experience a long way, unless you’re like @angryjedi who has to wade through the muck and see the same underlying mechanics again and again.
I had a strange addiction to Astro Empires for a while, some browser-based space empire builder that was nothing more than an excel spreadsheet and throttled so heavily by the usual tenets of time and “energy”. It wasn’t so much the hideous throttling that killed my interest, more that I was attacked by a mobster enclave for not joining them/paying them. I was not bowing down to this grotesque alliance, so I quit.
I would have continued with Pocket Planes, had there been some actual in-game interaction/rivalries/business deals with real players…alas, it was just busy work with an admittedly addictive theme. Love me some Aerobiz/Airline/Airport Tycoon experiences.