I can tell you straight away, it's NOT the 1982 illustrated text adventure "The Hobbit". This was out before that. It may even have been late 70s.
What I remember:
- I played on a friend's computer. I don't think his was a standard, popular model. i.e. not a Vic20, C64, Atari etc
- The graphics were ASCII text based. I think there were only three characters used: an 'H' to represent you, the player; a special character to represent orcs; and another character to represent trees.
- The playing area was fairly small, maybe 50 characters to a side.
- Gameplay was turn based. You would move one space in any direction, up, down, left, right. I can't remember if diagonal moves were allowed.
- Once you'd moved, the orcs would all move one space straight towards you. If one of them reached you, game over.
- If an orc moved into a tree, it died.
- The object of each level was to move around, positioning yourself such that the orcs would move straight at you in such a way that they'd each run into a tree and die.
- A level ended when either an orc captured you or the orcs all died.
- If you finished a level, the game would continue with the next level being more complex, usually more orcs and fewer trees, possibly on a larger playing area.
- Each level had a name. You started as a 'Hobbit'. If you finished the first level you became a 'Strider', I think. Finish the last one, maybe the tenth, and you retired as a 'Ranger Lord'. The others had names like 'Guide', 'Courser' and 'Tracker'.
The playing area looked something like this:
Obviously, H is you, the hobbit, each T is a tree and each O is an orc. It wasn't actually T and O for tree and orc, but I can't remember what characters were used.