By now I have played 12 Realms with lots of kids and they loved it; but now they ask for other games. Mice & Mystic is often a bit complicated for them. If you play with your children: Have you seen the new KS of a small French designer called Gnomes & Associates? I'm backing it but what do you think? Could it be an alternative for 12 Realms (which is really great, but I keep looking for more suitable games).
You have kind of answered your own question already:
of course the game isn't the kind of "material battle" some companies offer. But since my disaster with Dungeon Saga's minis I'm looking for quality, non quantity.
Ihe minis in Gnomes & Associates just look too cute to miss; they are ideal for playing with children. The game seems to be suitable for introducing kids - by a harmless theme in soft colours - into the world of roleplaying/dungeon crawlers. Parents who are into these genres: take a look at this game.
I don't know about playing "mean", we are more the kind of gamers who like co-operative action. BUT: With the dragons add-on this game becomes coop and the moment I saw this I was hooked.
As I haven't read the rulebook and only looked into the gameplay's video (sadly I was obviously taught Molière's language at school so sometimes I felt a bit lost in modern French) I can't say much about the mechanics of the game; but it looks so awesome I would even buy it without any rules and create my own.
Oh, and thumbing your own posts is bad form, by the way...