I have been playing through Reignmaker, which is Tower of Elements with city-building. Because your abilities are gated by the city-building aspects, and the resource-gathering for city-building is a time-based mechanic, casual play is enforced.
Take, for example, the pictured level. Several levels recommend the sorts of spells or items you would want for them. Researching a spell takes time. Upgrading a building does not, but gathering resources for it does. If you need 1000 wood to upgrade to level 4 (plus 500 for level 3, plus…), and your (upgraded at the cost of more wood) lumber mill fills up at 90, you need to check the game 11 times to get the one upgrade. So play occasionally and check in frequently.
Being resource-starved has apparently been an issue from the beginning. Reading that thread, it has been declared a feature rather than a bug: it is now a time-management game in addition to a match-3 game. Which would be appropriate if the game were on Facebook and I needed to ask friends to come fertilize my farm.