London: The New Year’s Day doodle on Google’s homepage greeted its millions of users on a comparatively low note with a simple illustration of its letters having a party.
The L may be wearing a top-hat and the E shooting a party-streamer - but the image, which points browsers to results for ‘Happy New Year’, has been labelled a disappointment.
According to the critics it lacks the originality of 2011’s finest works, which have included Muppets making music, a playable guitar and an interactive turkey dressed in different costumes.
But it does promote Google’s year-in-review video, seen as a striving effort to tell the story of past 12 months.
The video features the death of singer Amy Winehouse, the Occupy protests, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the Japanese tsunami.
Incidents that have apparently been influenced by the internet and social networking also make an appearance, like the Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.